Afternoon was a mix of dirt roads, trails and jeep tracks mostly lower with no wind. It was hot and some sections were very steep. Lots of red caps and huckleberries. At the top of one very steep dirt road I met a group of 12 teens camping for a month and doing trail work. They said I just missed the section of switchbacks they are putting in that would have skipped this road portion. Got water and an apple trail magic.
At Big Hole Pass I had trouble locating the piped spring. (wasn't sure how far it was off trail so I didn't try that hard). Decided to just hike to the next one and risk it. You are never sure if a spring is reliable lately. Well the next 6.5 miles, while on a dirt road, was just one steep hill after another. Must have been close to 35 degrees and the loose rocks and sand slid under your feet making you loose traction. Could be I have rounded the lugs off my boots again. The rocky abrasion of the trail really does a job on wearing down the soles of your boots. Straight up and down one hill after another without any switchbacks - what is this New England? It was pretty rolling green hillsides with nice views.
Dropped down a side trail to the Perce Nez Spring where I found good water and plenty of nice campsites.