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Day 89 – Kettle Mountains

The trails through the Kettle Mountains have been incredible in comparison to the roads and bushwhacking in recent days. Today I got about 20 miles in on a great trail before the roads started again. Grouse are everywhere out here and when you walk by they fly off, making a ton of noise. This happens every couple miles and I jump every time with their ruckus. Early in the morning I met 4 more westbound Pacific Northwest Trail thru hikers and a few more dotted throughout the day. I haven’t been counting, but I think I’m closing in on a dozen westbounders that I have met. I seem to have caught a cold, with lots of sneezing and coughing. I think the smoke is also causing my asthma to flare up a bit, but the Kettle crest offered views to help forget it all. After the Copper Butte summit, things got borderline creepy. First, on the climb to the summit there was a hard hat on the side of the trail. Then 3 tents set up but no sign of people. And finally, on the way down from the summit was a blue pack with a note clipped to it saying the owner would be back in 1-2 days. I don’t know why someone leaving the area wouldn’t take their pack. There were no people in the area and the hard hats and the tents were very strange. It was a slower day, despite the mild terrain. I think my body might just need some rest to recover from the cold. I called it quits earlier than normal, which will likely not impact making the Northport Post Office during the small window on Saturday.

Miles 29

Total miles 2894

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