Idaho Sawtooth Adventure: Day 2 – 3,000 feet of elevation gain and 11 miles

When we woke up it was Kirks birthday! Idaho birthday trip is proving to be a success so far…including waterfalls, and some carrot cake I packed out that is only slightly pulverized.

We were drinking our coffee and looking at the river when a hiker passed by, or he almost passed by before I saw his small pack and tan legs and asked if he was thru hiking the Idaho Centennial Trail. Gentle Ben had been section hiking the trail, getting pushed back by snow and swollen rivers. I was stoked to see a long distance backpacker. He said he had seen no hikers. Almost no hikers at all on the trip.

We continue up the river canyon, stopping periodically for views of the river and various waterfalls. Kirk is living up to his trail name of “I’d rather be kayaking” because he squealed with delight at many of the drops. I may have committed to coming back at lower flow and hiking our boats up further to run some rock slidey sections.

We took a long siesta at a river crossing and strung up our hammocks for a nap.

Then onward. We had 3,000 feet of elevation today, no real destination either, but we figured we would continue to go up the South fork…might as well hike up to the headwaters.

Mid afternoon I look down, and in a beacon of light, there sat a fully wrapped orange starburst. Birthday trail magic for Kirk! The trail provides, I always say. I handed him the sun-warmed treat and after unwrapping it, he claimed we needed to bring more starbursts on our hikes.

Early evening found us at Virginia Lake, over 8,000’, and we found a sweet gravel bar to perch our camp at midway up the drainage to Edna Lake. 

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