The next day I received an unexpected wake up call quite early. A pair of owls, which sounded like they were perched atop my tent, were enjoying one heck of a conversation. A slight cat nap later, and I was reawakened by bright morning light as the sun began to rise. After packing up camp and grabbing a quick bite my dog and I made our way down the ridge. We covered roughly seven miles that day, taking time to find McBain Spring and Lodgepole Spring to refill water bottles and scout campsites.
The plan was to get to the Wenaha River several more miles down the trail, but Seren was slowing down. I didn’t want to push her too hard knowing we still had to climb our way back up the mountain the next day. We made camp at Lodgepole Spring early that afternoon and while the dog grabbed some needed rest I realized that I had eight more hours of daylight and nothing to pass the time. A book will be added to the pack next trip. Sure I explored the area around camp, looked for big game, and did some birdwatching. I still had several hours until the sun went down and nobody to talk to. No complaints, though, as it was a rare occurrence. Day gradually turned to night and although I had planned a little star gazing, I fell fast asleep.
This trip was a heck of a way to enter retirement. Seren has explored the Pacific Northwest with our family for a decade. She now measures the success of her days not by the miles she puts in but by the number of belly rubs she receives.