The dire report by the Wednesday group regarding deadfall on the PCT did not bode well for the Little Grayback Mountain trail. Since only three of us were hiking, we decided to do last Friday's canceled hike along the Sterling Mine Ditch trail heading south from Armstrong Gulch.
Sunshine was wishy-washy thruout the whole hike, and we encountered lots of smoke pollution in the Little Applegate Road area on the way in. Four plant species were blooming abundantly, and two more had one flower each open. There was only one downed tree across the trail, and that was easy to step over. The ground was still soft in many places, and on the way back we found that a horse rider had trashed the last couple of miles of the trail. Fortunately, he hadn't gone any farther.