Saturday, July 25, 2009

15 July 2009 - Cold Springs Camp Ground

Today was a hot, tiring day. In total we climbed over 4,000 feet from our starting point. This climb was made more difficult by the intense heat from the sun which constantly shined on us, free from any obstructions such as trees or clouds. We stopped for some much needed water with the intention of hiking a few more miles today, but after a brief rest, we unanimously agreed to quit for the day. It is the early evening, and I am ready to sleep.

Our walk today was also slowed by the state of the trail. At one stretch, our guide book suggested we follow the "often indistinct" trail. I'll admit, an "indistinct" trail is more like no trail. This stretch of trail could have been avoided by taking a much flatter road which had the same endpoint but a much shorter distance. This is typical for the "trail." For example, tomorrow there is a flat, well maintained trail exiting our campground, but our guidebook leads us "high for the views," taking an extended, hillier route on a non-existent trail.

Throughout the Okanogan--the last week or so--we encountered a lot of free range cattle. Most of the time they run away, but the occasional horned bull can cause some hesitancy. The biggest nuisance is that in this drought, the cattle all gravitate to the recommended water sources, making our water highly suspect as it is covered in cattle shit. There has been so much cattle that we started calling this the PNP--Pacific Northwest Pasture. Early tomorrow, we enter the Payseyten National Wilderness Area. There should be no cattle there.

Me sharing the road with some cattle.

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