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Tuesday, July 10, 2012


I headed out of the valley and up into the Sawtooths. As I left, fires were starting behind me on the plains.
I came to my first stream crossing in the first mile. It was just a little to deep and wide to rock hop, so I figured I'd take off my shoes. I was fully clean after spending two weeks in the city, why get wet feet so quickly. Little did I know how much water I was in for...
The snow was still melting, but the trail was clear for the most part. There were a number of abandoned cabins in the woods. They were erie and neat to come across in the woods. They were slowly being reabsorbed back into the environment.
I made it to the wilderness, and the mountains lived up to their namesake.
By this point I'd given up on caring on river crossings until I got to this one on the third morning. In the picture below is the stream crossing. Straight across where that log is sticking out is where the trail carries on. That water was at least 3 feet deep and pumping. This is the problem with hiking alone. Making these decisions and knowing there is no one to help. I chose to skip this crossing and spend the next hour bushwhacking a mile through swampy pine and scrub oak, using fallen trees like catwalks to avoid the brush. It was a long mile.
That's what it was all day. Follow a stream up to the ridge and the snow, back down another stream on the other side to where it meets the river in the valley. Fortunately the rivers in the valley usually had bridges.
Since I was heading north, the backside also meant more snow patches. It's these times when maps became really important. And this was in mid-July
There was water everywhere. Melting, rushing, flowing, falling...
Then the trail meets up with the South Fork of the Payette and is next to the water as it pours over fern falls.
That night I camped next to the falls, and one of the largest bear scats I've seen. I made sure to hang all my food that night.
The next day was 15 miles into Stanley. There were lots of burned out areas that were hot in the sun.
On the hike into town, I was caught in a predicament I can only really explain in person.
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