Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Day 29: The Republic Entrance #1

August 13: I had a short 13.4-mile hike today to reach Highway 20 and my ride into the small town of Republic. Being such a short day, I lingered in my nice, warm sleeping bag a bit longer than normal but was on the trail and hiking by 7:00am.

The day's hike was largely uneventful with the trail generally following ridge lines and, while not flat, was never particularly rugged or difficult. It felt more like rolling hills despite hiking through very mountainous terrain.

In clear areas, the views were spectacular through the Kettle Crest range. In the trees, the views were obscured, but the trail was generally in good condition and I progressed quickly.

The last mile or two, the trail descended sharply toward Highway 20. I passed a couple of day hikers--the first and only hikers I saw on the trail since the day I left Metaline Falls five days earlier.

There was a small trailhead at a gravel parking log just before the trail crosses Highway 20, and I veered off to it where I found Amanda napping in her car.

Hello, Amanda!

I had been expecting Amanda. She drove up last night and camped at the trailhead waiting for my arrival--by now, she was probably feeling a little restless. The last time I spoke with her, I gave her an ETA of sometime before noon but that was a little off. Originally, when I left Northport, I hadn't expected to arrived until tomorrow. It's hard to predict exactly when I'll arrive at any specific place and my advice to her was to check my location and progress with my SPOT device since most of the time, I couldn't call her with my cell phone. She hadn't spent the whole day in the car, however, having hiked the trail to a small lookout point. She said she thought about going up the trail to meet me along the way but decided against it when it started going steeply uphill. The drop down to the trailhead had been the steepest part of the whole trail all day. *nodding*

I took off my shoes and piled into the car for the drive into the nearest town: Republic, WA.

It was maybe a dozen miles down Highway 20 but the drive took longer because much of it was under construction and traffic could only pass through in one direction at a time while following a pilot car.

But eventually we made it and checked into the Northern Inn. We swung by the post office where I picked up my mail drop, then we went out to dinner.

The town was small--just a few blocks from end to end with all of the essential services in easy walking distance, and it had a western vibe with the false fronts on several of the buildings. It was a cute town, but we didn't spend much time exploring it. Tomorrow was a planned zero day when we could see the town much more thoroughly! For me, the rest of the evening was spent catching up on email, messages and work-related stuff.

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