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  • Writer's picturefherbolsheimer

Section 9

Samuels, ID to American Falls

Distance: 68 miles

Number of Days: 4 days

Day 47 - August 9

We woke up feeling thankful for having met some of the locals of Naples. We got our food from the post office as soon as it opened and packed our bags for the last stretch of the hike. We met Linda for a ride back to where we left off on the trail in Samuels, ID and just like that we were off. We walked along Upper Pack River Road to the trailhead of Fault Lake. Along the way we talked with Barry, from "a state to the southwest" aka California, that had just bought a house to get away. He was surprised at what we were doing and asked if we needed anything. A young woman from Hope, ID that seemed to be our age stopped and asked if we needed anything. It turned out that she had hiked the Colorado Trail and told us we looked like Thru-hikers. Meeting people along the way that asked if we needed anything, helped us find the motivation to keep going and finish. Grizzly bears are known to be in this area of Idaho so we tried to be cautious and sleep in designated campgrounds.

We made it to Fault Lake and ate dinner before finding a flat spot to camp for the night. For the first time in the hike we shared a backcountry campground with other hikers. We had every intention to fish the lake but both of us fell asleep early.

Day 48 - August 10

We woke up early to hike over the saddle to Hunt Lake. Although there is no trail for this section of the hike it was a fun scramble with some cool views.

From Hunt Lake we hiked the gravel road to the Eastshore road. We stopped and talked with Hugh and Louise Campbell. They were very nice people interested in our story. We shared with them our story and this website and continued on our way. About 3 miles later Hugh and Louise catch us along the road, in their truck, and hand us each an ice cream bar. They tell us that they paid for us to stay two nights at the Indian Creek campground.

Again we are struck by the kindness that people had shown us along the way. Many times throughout the hike we didn't know what our next steps were going to be but every time things worked out. We arrived at the campground and got our spot setting up our tent and eating the free ice cream the park store gave us for almost completing the ICT.

Day 48.1 - August 11

We had a full day to relax at Indian Creek Campground and spent it relaxing by Priest Lake.

The day was very hot so we grabbed some more ice cream from the park store and a couple bags of potato chips. We also took advantage of the warm showers and our neighbors also gave us each a couple beers for us to get our 2 beer buzz on.

Day 49 - August 12

We woke up early and hiked to the northern tip of Upper Priest Lake or how Steve described it to someone that asked us where we were headed "the upper part of Upper Priest Lake". Unfortunately the smoke was so bad that we could barely see across the lake.

This portion of the ICT is also part of the Pacific Northwest Trail so some people are used to seeing thru-hikers along the way. We found a campsite next to Ben and Kelly who spotted us struggling to hang a bear bag and asked if we wanted a beer. We sat with them for about an hour sharing our story and taking in their life advise.

Day 50 - August 13

(I am writing this about a month after completing the hike because I’m trying to put into words this accomplishment.) We woke up early and began the last stretch of the hike. Hiking mostly through an old growth western red cedar forest we finished the hike at American falls. It was a surreal moment for both of us. We completed a goal together that we both worked so hard to accomplish. There is no way I could have accomplished this alone. Steve pushed me to my limits at times but it was all worth it. We were about to jump into the pool below the waterfall when two mountain bikers stopped us and we chatted for a couple hours before jumping in with them. They were cool dudes using words like sick, chill, and healthy to describe things.

We took a photo and decided to fish downstream before the sun went down. A young family offered us their extra freeze dried breakfast and we saved it for the next morning.

Day 51 - August 14

Early in the hike Steve had told me that if I completed the hike on the 13th that I didn’t have to worry about getting back to Boise. I trusted him and figured out that he had been arranging some sort of surprise. Someone was picking us up I just didn’t know who, although I had my guesses. We hiked to the road and waited about 15 minutes and sure enough a rental car pulls up and out pops our friend Adam Kuntz. I knew if was going to be him but also I was surprised. Adam drove us to Spokane, WA so we could fly back to Boise the next morning, but first we had to celebrate. After buying some clean clothes, showering and enjoying the hot tub we went out on the town barely making it to the airport for our flight the next morning. Adventure Complete.


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