Wednesday, July 1, 2009

29 June 2009 - Idaho/Washington Border

Tonight is a perfect evening. These are five words I never thought I'd say tonight. I'm currently sitting next to a fire with a small stream flowing about two yards behind me. To my right is a long snow bank which rings the perimeter of our wilderness campsite. Inside the ring of snow is a field of wild flowers and our tent. Times have been light hearted for the last hour. Dave and I even stripped down and made some snow angels in the snowbank. I then tried to clean my body, but the river was intolerably cold, probably with in a degree of freezing based on its proximity to the snow.

I am surprised that I have said the above statements. Our day faced many trials. We were hoping to leave Idaho today, but we should have known it wouldn't be so easy. This morning we woke early on the base of a mountain. The mountain, Little Snowy Top, is very steep--perhaps the steepest on the whole PNT--requiring a windy 4.5 mile trail to ascend to bit over 1 mile. Our guidebook raved about the trail, calling it a "masterpiece" and "well maintained." Perhaps that was the case in the 70s. We are now veteran trail hikers, and we quickly lost the trails. Words can't describe our day, but we ultimately reached the top of the mountain--all one mile--after 11 hours of steep uphill bushwhacking. We were all covered head to toe in cuts and abrasions, and all our skin is black from rolling through so much charred forest.

Idaho is beautiful but I am happy to be just a few minutes walk from the border.\

Taking a break from bushwhacking. I already have a fair about of blood and ash on me with most the day still ahead of me.

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