Currently writing from Josh and Jami’s place in North Port. Pretty cool trail angels in the town of North Port. Fire’s are burning all around us and we’re going to hitch West to avoid going out in a blaze of glory. But I’m getting ahead of myself. Along the way I was rained on, walked through thunder storms, got stung by a bee, smashed my thumb, chased by swarms upon swarms of mosquitoes, and got lost more times than I can count. It was tough.
The sheer amount of boxes I got in this town was amazing. My partner and I managed to put together a complete resupply as well as send one forward to Metaline Falls. I’m so grateful for the amazing friends and family I have. After sorting through all that we went to the library and waited for Sharlene. She’s the trail angel in Bonners Ferry and she picked us up from the library and gave us a ride back to the trail. She was kind enough to pose for a picture with us.
Ended up camping at the Parker Ridge trail head. A little ways off actually. Not a terrible campsite. We were visited by border patrol, a stray cat, and some dog that seemed friendly but smiled like Jack Nicholson’s Joker.
A short and brutal climb uphill. Taking it easy in preparation for the bushwack that’s coming. Camped at Parker Lake and Ball Lake. At about 5:30 PM we met Rick. He walked through camp and we invited him to stay but he was determined to start the bushwack. I was concerned but he’s an adult. We did end up seeing him again and that was a relief.
And so begins a series of days marked by setbacks and adversity. A five mile slog that’s mostly bushwack with a scramble sprinkled on top. Found a tick crawling around on my leg and was glad I had my leggings on. They ended up taking a beating in the jungle of Idaho, but it’s a small price to pay in the grand scheme of things. The bushwack was slow. Averaged a half mile an hour. It’s hard to describe just how hard it was so I’ll just say it sucked, it’s the hardest hiking I’ve done in my life, and it was the easier of two options available. I would’ve taken more pictures but it was shitty and I was too tired to care about anything besides moving forward.
Shit streak continues. My partner made the tough decision to get off trail due to some personal reasons. Will miss her but am looking forward to her continual support as I inch West through the hellscape of the PNT. As soon as she left the trail, the trail took a giant shit on us. Throngs of mosquitoes converged on our location. Unquenchable thirst buzzing endlessly around me. A legion of horrible’s. Running from swarm to swarm resulted in several missteps. Maps and GPS came out and was forced to backtrack several times to find the trail. Then came the rain and a river crossing that soaked my feet to the bone. At least I got to hike on the Idaho Centennial (the PNT runs in conjunction with the ICT as well as the PCT) for a few miles. Even if they were the cruelest miles.
Monumental shit. More legions of blood suckers. At least they encouraged me to make good time. Rain and thunder. The thunder came atop a ridge walk and I was pretty anxious the whole time. Nearly fell off the mountain when wading through some leafy plants that had managed to blot out the trail. Thankfully the brambles were abundant and broke my fall. Ended up doing a big day mileage wise. Thanks mosquitoes. Ended up camping on the side of a forest service road because there wasn’t anywhere else to go. A nice family drove by and gave us pretzels and goldfish crackers. It was just what we needed to keep our spirits up and our bellies full of sodium.
Hiked into an “airport today. It was a mostly pleasant hike and a welcome break from the run of bad luck that had been plaguing me.
Made it into Metaline Falls. Stayed at the Historic Washington Hotel and I would highly suggest anyone in the area (and especially hikers) check it out. We packed four into a room and Arlie the owner did our laundry. He was incredibly kind, understanding, and helpful.