It’s day 4 and I still haven’t settled into life away from all the stresses of this year. I’m starting to crack though; nature is having her way with me…slowly soothing and comforting the 2020 anxieties.
I am not pitting myself against nature on this hike, I am hiking with nature. I am rediscovering my place in this natural world.
I woke early…before sunrise early, so I worked on my blog and read a bit. The sun didn’t come, and it still didn’t come. Sunrise is almost 7am now!! I have just about 12 hours of dark, a guess I’ll be doing a lot of reading this month if I can’t manage to sleep that long.
I watch the light finally spill over Hells Canyon and made a second cup of coffee. Finally I was jittery enough that I needed to walk off the excess caffeine, so I hit the road to head up to the legit Hells Canyon Overlook, complete with pit toilets and informational signs.
Most of the day I would be walking on gravel roads that straddle the Snake and Imnaha River canyons. Very few cars passed, and when I got to a section that I thought would be trail, found it was still road. Then I got to a section that I thought would be road, but it was gated, so was a trail on an old road. Regardless, the walking was easy and I didn’t have to wonder where I was at all during the day.
I know I will be up here a few more days and I finally looked at the data book and realized this was one long 52-mile ridge-walk! If you love ridge-walking like I do, you might have an idea how excited that makes me.
Even though the walking was “easy,” I still had to grind. What does that mean you might be wondering? Grinding is what I call hiking up a hill, incline, or mountain without stopping. You put yourself in a low gear and walk at a steady pace as long as you can. If you want to stop, walk a little slower and keep going. Eventually you will be able to hike farther and faster if you make it a practice grind regularly. I find music can help, and today this song did it for me.
Towards the end of the day I was filling up water at a spring when I heard a rustle behind me and a hunter materialized out of the woods. He came over and we chatted for a few…he and his friends had been packed in by some horsepackers for a week up here. There were some other guys camped near by on their own hunting trip too. He was nice enough and it was good to speak out loud for the first time today.
I made my way a little further before setting up with a view of the Seven Devils mountains in Idaho.