Boise to Stanley, Day Three


June 19, 2005

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For anyone paying attention, we were starting later each day, even though John was getting up and starting the fire. Today, he slept in a bit. It was a glorious morning, sunny and bright. Finally, after the thunder and hail of Day 2, the weather had changed. That, and we were starting downhill for a change!

Art did a bit of extra map reading to make sure we found the trail at 10:15am. He needn't have bothered- it was clearly marked "Short Creek Trail." This was a brand-new sign- not even any bullet holes yet.

As a tangent to this story, my friend Brian finds Idaho remarkable for the condition of the backcountry facilities. He's from western Washington, and insists that they shoot up everything- even the toilet seats.

The Short Creek trail is very steep. However, it is open to motorcycles. This does not seem like a good combination. The resulting rut leaves no place to put your foot. That, and it would seem to invite erosion.

However, the motor dollars go a long way to keeping trails in Idaho open. That, and it's very possible we were the first to walk this trail in a long, long time. So this is a complex issue that requires more walkers to be more vocal.

After our days in wet footwear, Carol and I were very aware of where we put our feet. I had fifty-cent piece blisters in the middle of my pads, and Carol had dime blisters on every toe, some on both top and bottom. But we were still smiling.

After a lot of painful downhill limping, we finally made it to the North Fork of the Boise River. After the 1300' dry and hot drop down Short Creek, it was a welcome sight when we hit the river at noon. From the junction at the river, it's about 40 minutes to the road.

Just below the road, you have to cross Rabbit Creek. Before we did that, we had a leisurely lunch on the sandy river beach. Then across our first major creek crossing (of many) before hiking the road for 5 miles to Barber Flat.

Walking on the road wasn't all bad- we saw very few cars, and the river is lovely. But it was hot, so we went for a brief dip in this sandy spot. Sorry, decency requires no pics of the swim.

After the long miles on the road, Carol and my feet were tenderized. We made Art, who had good feet, do all the camp chores. After all, as Queen of Toilet Paper, she had the power.

And Art was hoping we could recover and enjoy tomorrow's hike up the Grand Mountain Trail, which we expected to be hard with lots of elevation on a hot Day 4.

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