Silver Creek Road (370.3) to Northport (390.1)

19.8 miles

I woke up and took things easy. I just got one year older and you never know! The campsite has been one of my favorites so far and I settled down for a proper breakfast which consisted of Granola, milk powder and some chocolate mocha powder. The chocolate mocha powder is my favorite and it tastes great!

After packing up I started my hike on the forest road. For three miles I hiked mostly downhill at a good grade on this nice road. I hit a sign telling me that I left Colville National Forest. It made me sad because I also officially left Grizzly country without ever seeing one. Today was also the end of section three of the PNT, the Selkirk Mountains. In Northport section four, the Kettle River Range, would begin.

Around 9:30 am I hit the pavement. To get to my destination of the day Northport I had to hike more than 16 miles on the paved Boundary Road. The road went in a big arc first north and crested along the Canadian border before it went south again along the Columbia River to finally meet Northport. There was a shorter way but access to private land was denied in 2017 for us hikers. Looking at some of the signs in the valley I wasn’t too surprised…

I didn’t mind the road walking too much but as it was a hot and sunny day I needed a break around lunch time. Thankfully there was a small store halfway along the road where I could at least buy a couple of cold drinks and some chips. Sitting outside the store and resting in the shade I had the great company of a white chicken and Pica – a small dog. While the chick tried to pick into my foot the dog was great and I shared some lunch bacon with her. Normally I don’t feed other people’s dogs but she looked so sweet. How could I resist?

From the store it was another eight miles something till Northport. I put my head down and hiked. It was pretty hot and I was running low on water. My goal was to be in town at 5ish to get to the grocery store and do a five days resupply for the next stretch to Republic. I made it in time just to be a bit disappointed about the selection in the grocery store. I couldn’t get any wet wipes, no tooth paste and no deodorant (yes, I carry some) in travel size. And no insect repellent which was the worst!

I was sitting outside the store at a picnic table organizing my stuff when a car pulled up. A young woman asked if I was all set for the night. I said no. It turned out that Jami was one of the trail Angels mentioned in the PNT guidebook. She took me to her home where I am camping right now in the garden. Jami and her husband Josh had invited me for dinner and I had an Italian sausage (a bit like Bratwurst but with a lot of fennel) with a fresh garden salad. It was great and we sat together talking about this and that for a long time.

As I am writing these lines it is already 11 pm and it’s well past hikers midnight. I need to get some sleep! Good night.

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