8/25, Day 53, High Elevation 6208′, Low Elevation 4776′, 16.4 miles
We set off on the trail that Ken found last night. It lasted only a short while. Our goal was to climb out of the lake bowl to the ridge above in order to meet up with the ICT. What a miserable slow climb through dense tortuous bushes. Game trails faded in and out, giving us hope for a trail then dashing that hope. Frustration ensued; we finally climbed our individual routes steeply up to find the trail.
Once we got to the ridge trail hiking was fun. We dashed along. I don’t know who was more surprised when we ran into two commercial huckleberry pickers raking the bushes with their picking cans. One also worked as a guide. We stayed to talk too long, especially after our slow morning.
After more great trails we dropped onto a dirt road below Lunch Peak Lookout. A few cars passed. I decided I would stop the next car when we realized that we weren’t going to make it all the way to the lookout for camping. The driver might be able to tell us if terrain leveled out.
The Stout brothers were eager to talk to us about hiking and camping. They described a flat, less rocky spot to camp on a turnout just ahead. That spot had our last distant views of Lake Pend Oreille with another colorful sunset above. We also saw the Seven Sisters that we would walk near in a couple of days. Wow, thanks for the camp site tip, Stouts!