We got another day of rest here, but not before a grueling hike up the side of a mountain without much of a path to guide us. Browse the gallery below to gain an appreciation of the journey, which largely follows the stream starting just above the white truck seen in various photos.

This is an area that is open to all, but very hard to get to (as evidenced by our grueling journey the day prior). It is literally in the middle of nowhere without cell service, etc., so this is indeed the road less traveled, if you allow the pun.

The hike was tough and into the mist indeed but the views were incredible. It started raining halfway up (or maybe we just walked into a rain cloud) and it got pretty chilly. We hung in there as best we could and made it up to 11,154 feet (climbed about 1,968 feet).

I also learned of the official plant of Scotland – the thistle. This thing was literally a thorn in my side. From a distance it seems quite pretty. But when you get up close and even if you accidentally brush against it, it certainly pokes back and leaves a mark – even through several layers of clothing. The plant's thorns run all the way up and down its stem to its flowery part.

After we got back down from the hike and dried off, we spent the rest of the afternoon playing cards and relaxing. I spent much of my afternoon composing this very post in my tent.

I also spent some time with the stars of the trek: the staff. They worked tirelessly to make sure we were well fed and comfortable. The meals they managed to make out of a tent blow my mind and were some of the best Indian food – other than what my mom makes! – I’ve ever had).

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