August 6, 2017

Miles: 13

PNT mile 403

Camp: Elbow Lake, Colville National Forest, Washington 

After another lovely meal served up by Bert at the Matteson House, we played with the kitten a little bit more and said our goodbyes. We planned to meet Analeise at a campground 13 miles away, all on roads.

So the day commenced at a slower pace under the weight of a new resupply. We are rolling out of Northport with 5 days worth of food and it is heavy. We got a little spoiled with the last section being so short…we became complacent with our pack weight.

We walked out of town over a bridge that spanned the Columbia River. If we had a seaworthy craft we could float right on back to Portland from here. For now, our feet will have to carry us up and over the mountains instead. It is our preferred mode of travel anyhow.

The road walk involved nothing spectacular. Cars drove by kicking up dust, but the forest fire smoke has lessened. I hope that’s a good sign. 

We listened to a couple of podcasts and climbed the dusty road up to Elbow Lake. Here we made use of a picnic table and collected some real earthy tasting lake water (even through a filter). There is a spring just a mile away though, so I’m thinking we have a good shot of living through the night.

We hope to do a minimum of 20 miles tomorrow as the terrain is pretty gentle. It is a lot more road walking and a potential forced alternate. There is an old trail that burned in 2015 and we aren’t quite sure if it is open or not, the alternate being a 29 mile road walk. There is a lot of that this trail so far, fortunately most of it on dirt roads. It is the only way to connect the trail systems for now, until new trail can be built or easements for private property reached.

We will see our fate tomorrow. Hopefully it is hiking!