Until we passed the logging, the road was pretty smooth and mellow, with deep morning shadows across it. It was still gorgeous. Then we left the workers behind and things got rocky and muddy.
We would pass through a challenging rocky section to find mud puddles. Then the puddles would end and we'd end up in more rocks. It was pretty fun. There was even a good Rock Garden that started at the bottom of a hill in twisty, tippy, muddy rocks. We climbed to the top of the hill of rocks, and there were lots of fun lines to pick from. Of course, that was followed by the biggest mud pits of the whole trail. That section was awesome.
We stopped for a bit at the Anderson Brothers Reservoir to stretch our legs and check it out. Then we were very surprised to see two little kids on bicycles followed by their dad, their truck, and all of their gear. They must have been camping, and packing up to go home. The kids were going to ride their bikes all the way back, and it seemed like such a great way to get them out and exercising, not to mention building up biking skills. We happened to be pulled to the side of the trail, and he got by us without any issues. It worked out well.
We got back in our muddy Jeeps and kept going to the end at Youngs Lake. There were a few amazing camping spots next to the lake, and we imagined that the family we saw was camping at one of them, though we didn't see any evidence. The lake was gorgeous in the sunlight. We took pictures but didn't stop.
Even though this is one of the rare "out and back" trails we did on the trip, we didn't mind. The rocks and mud were fun, and the section through the logging operations was easy. We were back out to Michaelsen Creek in no time, where we discussed the fact that we wanted to do Kenney Creek Reservoir but didn't find it where it was supposed to be when we went by that area the last time. We turned to go have another look.