Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Day 32: The Republic Entrance #2

August 16: I woke up early and hit the trail a little after 6:00am. The trail was in pretty good condition overall but there weren't many water sources along the route. I definitely filled up every opportunity I could! The biggest obstacle for the day were lots of little ups and down and that lack of water.

The weather was warm but clear which allowed for nice views throughout the day. The few blowdowns across the trail came to an end when I crossed paths with a guy carrying a chainsaw. He had been hired to log out the trail of blowdowns and told me that the rest of the trail through Highway 21 was now clear of blowdowns. He asked if there was much along the trail closer to where I had started the morning--he still had that section left to do and wanted an idea of how much work was involved. I hadn't been counting the blowdowns, but there were definitely a few. Not a lot, though. Probably no worse than what he had already been doing.

He was the only person I saw on the trail all day.

I continued on, eventually reaching the trailhead of 13-Mile Camp at Highway 21 where Amanda was already waiting for me. She filled me in on her doings since we split up yesterday which included two more visits to Stonerose to look for more fossils spending four hours each day--both yesterday and today--looking for them. "I found my calling!" she proclaimed, and showed me her new fossil finds. "I might have to go back again." Because the nearly 10 hours she had already spent looking for fossils over the last three days wasn't enough.

I grabbed a cold Coke and told her of my trials and tribulations--and the mournful loss of my Croc. But I wasn't done hiking quite yet. Nope, now the trail followed the road for 3.4 miles to the 10-Mile Campground. (The 13-Mile and 10-Mile camps were, I believe, named after how far they were from the town of Republic.)

Amanda, happy after spending 8 more hours looking for fossils then waiting for me.

I wanted to get these 3.4 miles in today because I had a particularly long day planned for tomorrow and the more miles I finished today, the fewer I would have to do tomorrow. Amanda drove up the trail ahead of me to wait and I started the 3.4-mile road walk.

The road walk was... blah. It was a paved road, so thumb down for that. And the road, while not super busy, was still busy enough to be annoying. Another thumb down for that. And the road had no shoulder to walk on so another thumb down for that. Three thumbs down!

But the views of the dramatic cliff valley were awesome and the walking was easy so a thumb up for that. So, overall, two thumbs down.

I arrived at 10-Mile Camp where my day's hike officially came to an end. I jumped into the car and we headed back to the town of Republic, this time entering the city from the south.

We stopped at a couple of places in town looking for somewhere that might sell Crocs but came up empty. There wasn't a full-fledged outfitters and we looked at some cheap flip-flops thinking I might use those as temporary camp shoes until I could acquire replacement Crocs.

Then we checked into the Prospector Inn and walked over to a Mexican restaurant for dinner.

The road walk from 13-Mile Camp to 10-Mile Camp included these very dramatic cliffs that were absolutely amazing!

The views in this canyon were absolutely jaw-dropping, but my photos really don't do it justice. Even when I was taking the pictures, I was disappointed with them because they really didn't capture the scale of the place. Of course, photos never look as great as the real thing, but that was even more of the case here!
13-Mile Camp is just inside the Colville Indian Reservation (see the trailhead in the background?), and I noticed this sign behind me while walking to 10-Mile Camp. It's welcoming people to the Indian reservation and the white sign under it says, "Tribal code laws apply." Yep, don't break tribal codes or else! State laws do not apply! I wondered how they differed from state laws.

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