July 31, 2017

Miles: 20

PNT mile 304.5

Camp: Road 1013, Kinkusa National Forest – Last night in Idaho

We started out the day around 4 am when a goat paid us a visit. We shouted at it and went back to sleep for the real alarm at 5. It was easy to get up because it was light out, but I could feel yesterdays abuse lingering all over. I was feeling it for sure. 

We had about 2 miles to Lookout Mountain and the end of our bushwack. It was all bouldering moves up steep slopes, but with the best rock for the job: granite. It was the kind of rock that makes you feel like spiderman, even with a pack on. It is super grippy so it is easy to trust the rock for traction and it can be quite fun. I definitely enjoyed our boulder jumping this morning.

We took a long break at the summit and reveled in the end of the bushwack. It was very challenging but I’d choose it again every time. We saw things that very few people have or may ever see. We pushed our own limits only to find they were expandable, our skills even stronger than before in map reading and bushwacking in general. I feel stronger.

The summit was quite impressive, sheer cliffs dropping out from below. Peaks in every direction and going on forever.

After our break we reveled in the glory of a trail for the rest of the day. It was so well graded at times that I felt spoiled. To top it off, we were walking through cedar forest all afternoon. The trees were so majestic, surrounded by ferns and other old growth ground cover. It felt like walking through a fairy tale after the harsh conditions of yesterday. It was like a dream.

We skirted the shore of Upper Priest Lake and I wished that we had planned to stay there. Every campsite was straight off of a postcard and some even had bear boxes. Alas, we have to meet some mileage goals so we don’t run out of food. We aren’t going to push ourselves, but we don’t have a lot of time over all. There is a balance in when to stop and enjoy something special and when to make miles. Sometimes food dictates both. 

We found a camp on the river at about 7 pm and decided to call it. We are both spent from yesterday, and even though today was mostly breezy it did start with a 2 mile scramble up a boulder field. We feel it in our bones.

Tomorrow we hope to get about 23 miles done…more if we can. The terrain looks a whole lot easier to manage and we feel strong, especially with our dwindling food supply (our packs are really light). It should be just 2.5 days into town where we can freshen up and eat all of the things.

Can’t think about food now, it’s sleep time.