My plan was ambitious, so I stayed overnight at the interior Johns Brook Lodge (JBL), cutting 7 miles round trip to and from the car. Seeing no morning rain, I started on a loop over Gothics and Sawteeth to Haystack via the Warden’s Camp.
I encountered my first other humans at the summit of crowded Porter Mountain. I stopped for a brief photo and quickly headed back the Range Trail towards Blueberry Mountain. On the way, there was a perfect rock outcropping offering views of Porter and Cascade, after which I continued towards Blueberry.