August 4, 2017

Miles: 18

PNT mile 389

Camp: Matteson B&B, Northport, WA

This morning felt especially great because we let ourselves sleep in until 8. It was such a treat to not respond to a 5am alarm. We were really going to try and keep it a shorter day so we don’t get into town until tomorrow morning. 

We started on the long road walk into town, glad it was mostly dirt to begin with. When we joined the paved road for what was supposed to be an 18 mile road walk, we reevaluated our route. A quick search on Google maps gave us an alternate road walk that was shorter and wouldn’t be paved for the most part. 

We began down the dirt road and were delighted to find large patches of ripe thimbleberries. Our forward progress was ultimately delayed, but the joy of those ripe berries and our desire to drag our heels today was a better place to be. You can’t buy thimbleberries at the store as they are difficult to harvest, so you pretty much have to find the bushes in action when the season is right. 

With berry stained fingers and mouths, we proceeded down the old dusty road listening to a podcast called, “Dirtbag Diaries.” It is essentially people who live like us telling stories from their adventurous lives. We enjoy it and it helps road miles disappear. Otherwise we talk about random stuff and what we want to do when we get done with the hike.

Soon enough it became apparent that we were only 6 miles from town at 3pm. There wasn’t anything by way of camping that we could foresee, so we made the decision to walk into town.

Analeise had already arrived and we met her at a restaurant for dinner. We ate big meals and wandered back to the very hiker friendly bed and breakfast where we got ourselves a room. It is a quaint house run by a really super lady (Bert) and it feels great to be here…plus she will make us breakfast in the morning! Yeah!

As for now we are home from a nightcap at the local tavern where we continued to wow the locals with our adventure. The small town folk get a real kick out of us doing all that walking and ask a lot of questions through thin veils of amusement. We find them pretty interesting as well and many dig deep to find a story they think we might relate to, often of the one time they went on an adventure. It is a pretty cool aspect of thru hiking and visiting these random small towns. It is special. 

Now, a full belly and a glowing whiskey buzz later, we get to sleep in a bed tonight. I’d say we are doing pretty darn well out here. Pretty well indeed.