It was cold last night, so I kept my whole body, head and all, inside my sleeping bag the whole time. Since it was hot when we started our hike and was forecast to remain hot the entire hike, I did not bring a jacket. The best I can do is wear both my long sleeve shirts. Keith rounds the corner at 6:00 and we start out. Pretty soon we reach the Bill Hall trail sign and start up the steep switchbacks.
This is a real slog to the top of the switchbacks. The small cliff section at the top is almost a walkup going uphill. It's much easier to pass by going up or down on the south edge of it. It is freezing. My hands are so cold that I'm having a hard time getting my camera out for a picture of the Esplanade far below.
Keith has been here for several minutes waiting for me. We agree to meet back at the car and he presses on ahead. The trail remains mostly level for the next half-mile or so until you are directly above Bridgers Knoll. After you make the turn to the east, you start the last uphill climbing section. Another twenty minutes and I'm standing at the top.
This tree section was recently burned my first time this way ten years ago. Somehow, I expected the trees and vegetation to be thicker in here after that length of time. At full zoom on my camera, I can see all the cars in the parking lot, so I'm almost there.
I make one last stop at the Memorial erected for Park Ranger Bill Hall, the person for whom this trail is named.
As I pull into the parking lot, Keith is talking with a Park Ranger who is here on a welfare check on some missing hiker. He asks to see our permit. We load our gear into the car and drive to the Jacob Lake Inn for a hamburger. After lunch, we say goodbye after another successful hike. Keith drives to Las Vegas for a flight to Tennessee and I start the long drive back to Oklahoma.
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