We hiked up the Imnaha River into what I like t think of as the middle of nowhere. Rarely traveled except for the first few miles, this brings you into some truly wild country. And this spring is the greenest the old-timers have ever seen, bringing lush green vistas as we hiked.
|The ticks weren't out, which was confusing. Maybe this is a low tick year?|
We pressed on through some intermittent snowfields to a picturesque meadow with views of Red Mountain, and, in the distance, Hawkins Pass. Our turn-around spot was the trail junction to Boner Flat. Someone had stolen the sign long ago, but I remembered it as being obvious, Not so anymore--the cairn had tumbled and the trail was invisible. I gazed longingly up both trails, wishing we had more time. Alas, night was coming, so we retraced our steps for a decent 14 mile day.
|Turn-around spot, but very hard to do.|
Optimistically we had brought our 15 degree bags, and despite me dragging the dog into my tent, I still froze. Ruby's water was ice in the morning, reminding me it was still May, early for backpacking around these parts. Still, we packed up and were on trail by seven, and to the car by ten. We had seen only two other people the whole time.
I have unfinished business in the middle of nowhere. I still need to fill in a gap between Hawkins Pass and Boner Flat junction. It looks like this will be the summer for local mountains, and I'm OK with that. I've spent eight summers chasing the PCT, and it is time to stay home. Right now, the middle of nowhere seems like a good place to be.