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  • LOOKS LIKE THE RANGER WAS RIGHT--WE'RE FINALLY IN FOR SOME RAIN!
  • UH, THIS TRAIL GUIDE SAYS THEY HAVE BLACK BEARS AND GRIZZLY BEARS AROUND HERE.
  • TRAIL 506 SALMO BASIN
  • TRAIL 531
  • MAYBE WE SHOULD WAIT FOR THE STORM TO PASS.
  • NO WAY! C'MON, WE NEED TO MAKE IT TO CAMP BEFORE DARK!
  • DOESN'T IT SMELL AMAZING? I CAN'T BELIEVE THERE'S NO ONE OUT HERE!
  • GAK! GET IT OFF!
  • THE SALMO-PRIEST WILDERNESS ENCIRCLES 43,348 ACRES OF NORTHEASTERN WASHINGTON WITH TRAILS RUNNING ACROSS THE IDAHO AND CANADIAN BORDERS. THE TRAIL SYSTEM OPENS FOR A FEW MONTHS, USUALLY FROM LATE JULY TO EARLY NOVEMBER, BUT REMAINS CLOSED THE REST OF THE YEAR DUE TO WEATHER CONDITIONS.
  • THAT WAS AWESOME! DID YOU SEE HOW FAST THE WATER WAS MOVING?
  • MY HUSBAND, ANDREW, AND I WERE PREPARED TO WANDER AMONG CEDAR TREES, WILDFLOWERS, AND VIEWS FROM SHEDROOF MOUNTAIN FOR 27.5 MILES OVER THREE DAYS. WE DID NOT ANTICIPATE RAIN.
  • HEY, HAVE YOU SEEN THE HAND WARMERS? ANDREW?
  • ZZZZZZZZZ
  • A MORE POETIC PERSON MIGHT HAVE NOTICED HOW THE COMBINATION OF TEMPERATURE AND PRECIPITATION MISTED CLOUDS OF FINE GAUZE THAT BEADED AND SLID GENTLY INTO THE CREVICES OF OUR CLOTHING. NO, I WAS DRENCHED. MEANWHILE, ANDREW WAS RE-LIVING HIS WESTERN WASHINGTON CHILDHOOD.
  • I GOT IT.
  • AHHHH!
  • LET ME GET ACROSS, AND THEN I'LL HELP YOU!
  • WE REACHED THE SALMO RIVER AT MILE 3.1. DAY HIKING EASTERN WASHINGTON BY RICH LANDERS AND CRAIG ROMANO RECOMMENDS TURNING BACK AT THIS POINT IF YOU CAN’T USE STEPPING STONES. (UN)FORTUNATELY, ANDREW FOUND A WAY ACROSS. WATERLOGGED, WE BYPASSED THE SPUR TRAIL LEADING TO A CABIN SO OLD THAT THE FOREST SERVICE HAS NO RECORD OF ITS HISTORY.
  • OUR CAMPSITE LAY IN A SMALL CLEARING AT MILE 6.4. ALTHOUGH IT WAS STILL EARLY AFTERNOON, WE HAD NO PROSPECTS FOR A BETTER (I.E., DRIER) AREA TO PITCH OUR TENT BEFORE DARK. WE STOPPED FOR THE DAY AND ATE UNDERCOOKED BEANS AND RICE FROM A LITTLE CANISTER STOVE. THEN, WITH NO DRY WOOD FOR A FIRE, WE SLIPPED OUR BODIES INTO COLD SLEEPING BAGS.
  • I AWOKE TO THE PATTER OF RAIN ON NYLON. WE QUIT THE CLEARING IN A SCRAMBLE TO WARM OURSELVES. A POOL OF CONDENSATION IN MY SHOES SQUELCHED BETWEEN MY TOES. EVERYTHING WE TOUCHED FELT SLICK WITH MOISTURE. LESS THAN HALF A MILE FROM CAMP, I DISCOVERED JUST HOW UNSTABLE THE FOREST HAD BECOME AFTER A DAY AND NIGHT OF CONSTANT SHOWERS.
  • YOU GUYS ARE BACK EARLY! HOW WAS YOUR TRIP?
  • A MILE LATER, I HEARD IT. THE TRAIL SWERVED TO THE RIGHT, AND THERE IT WAS. THE SALMO HURLED PAST US ONCE AGAIN. NO BRIDGE IN SIGHT. HERE, THE WIDER CHANNEL LOWERED THE WATER LEVEL. WE WADED IN, WATCHING THE RIVER CRASH AGAINST OUR LEGS. I MADE IT MID-WAY TO THE OPPOSITE SHORE BEFORE THE ROCKS BENEATH MY FEET SHIFTED.
  • CAN YOU BELIEVE HOW CLEAR THE WATER IS? HON?
  • #$@&%*!
  • OVER TWENTY MILES REMAINED, BUT I WAS DONE WITH THIS ADVENTURE.
  • WE SET A NEW RECORD FOR OURSELVES THAT DAY. WE FINISHED THE TRAIL IN TIME TO DRIVE OUT OF THE FOREST DURING A CLEAR SUNSET. THE RAIN STOPPED A FEW MILES BEFORE WE COLLAPSED AGAINST THE SIDE OF OUR CAR. NEITHER OF US WILL FORGET THAT HIKE. ALTHOUGH, WE CAN’T SEEM TO AGREE ON THE EXPERIENCE.
  • AMAZING!
  • TERRIBLE!
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