We woke up to a wet tent — thankfully it was only on the outside of the rainfly. It had rained off and on all night, but when we woke up it wasn’t raining. When we looked outside we could see the sun, though it was still quite cold.
We packed up our gear and draped the rain fly over some trees to try and dry it off. The campsite was in the shadow of a mountain so unfortunately the sun didn’t dry the rainfly off before we left. I enjoyed a honey waffle and some oatmeal before we headed out.
We set off across a beautiful meadow and marveled at the towering mountains around us. Last year we couldn’t see any of this due to the low clouds so it was a big deal to see so much. The sun hit us as we trekked through the meadow and we enjoyed the warmth it provided.
Once we crossed the meadow we headed into a valley through a forest. We commented that the views we were experiencing were something no picture could do justice to. You had to be here. You had to hike to these places. What we were experiencing is something only a small subset of people in the world will ever get to experience.
As we trekked lower into the valley the undergrowth got quite thick. It was still wet with rain so our legs and feet got soaked as we slogged through it. It was so thick in parts that you couldn’t see the trail and I took a couple of falls after catching my feet in some invisible, yet very real, rocks.
Coming to a cabin we stopped for a short break. I was able to dry out the rainfly in the sun along with my shoes and socks while I enjoyed some trail mix, cheese, jerky, and ginger ale drink mix. I picked up three “soda” mixes for this trip and I’m quite happy with them. Granted there is no carbonation, but Dad’s Root Beer, 7up, and Canada Dry taste quite delicious.
Continuing on we started the uphill section for the day by heading to Stoney Indian Lake. It was overgrown but thankfully dry and not too steep. We reached the lake in no time and took a short break before the steep trail over the pass.
Beyond Stoney Indian Lake there is Stoney Indian Pass. It was very abrupt and high, but beautiful. Having taken a short break we started the 1.1-mile trek to the top. It wasn’t nearly as bad as we thought (probably due to working it up to a massive challenge in our heads) and we were soon enjoying breathtaking views of Stoney Indian Lake from above. The views of the lake quickly paled in comparison to the views we has as we hiked down the other side.
Beyond the pass was a deep valley that eventually opened up to several lakes. As we hiked it opened up to the views of the lakes and also some gorgeous waterfalls. We could only see the waterfalls in the distance, but as we wandered down into the valley we saw 3 and they were each well over 500 feet tall. The waterfalls with a backdrop of sky-scraping mountain peaks left me breathless. I’ve always heard of breathless views, but it has always been an expression to me…until today. There were times that I would stop in the middle of the trail and just stare in wonder at the views before me. Again, my mind would think about how so few people ever get to experience what I was experiencing.
Continuing down into the valley we grew exhausted. It was our longest day at 14.6 miles and we could feel it. We finally rolled into camp around 5. Logan went for a quick, refreshing swim while I set up the tent. After that, we ate dinner while chatting with a couple in the food area. They had recently moved to Coeur d’Alene near where Logan lives and we had a good chat. After hanging our food to keep the bears away from it we crawled into our tent. We read our trip book and then fell asleep, exhausted but happy.