The Similkameen… Trail

An overcast day… threatening rain. In fact, the forecast was for rain later. If you wait for the days to be perfect then a lot of perfect days disappear. This was one of those days.

After a most beautiful day kayaking the day before…  we decided to give our weary arms a days rest and hike the Similkameen Trail. When completed the Similkameen Trail will run to Nighthawk – a small incorporated community and a border crossing into Canada. So far, it is approximately a 7 to 8 mile round trip up the Similkameen River from Oroville, WA to the Enloe Dam… an old rail bed converted to a hiking trail.

It was a perfect temperature 72 F (22 C). A breeze was blowing and the partial cloudiness moderated the sun’s intensity.  Good thing too, because I had forgotten my sunscreen. I have a good base tan but still am leery about sun damage. Sunshine can be healthy helping your body to produce vitamin D…too much sunshine is not. The forecast said to expect some rain later in the afternoon, so we included our ponchos in our daypacks. Nothing can make a pleasant hike more miserable than ignoring a forecast or forgetting rain gear, wind breaker or warmer piece of clothing. Tis better to have and NOT need than to NEED and NOT have.

We walked almost 2 miles to the Taber access (where a truss bridge takes the trail across the river ) before we saw another person. A family was wandering back from the bridge to the parking area. The trail left the rail bed and wound around a private vineyard. Unfortunately, the farmer had decided (even though the wind was blowing  >10mph the upper limit point for spraying) to spray his crop. We timed our crossing of the wind born spray area to avoid exposure… even so we got a few whiffs of pesticide and I am sure, a light covering of the stuff on our exposed skin. It seems impossible anymore to avoid some sort of contamination from modern agricultural poisons.

 

Crossing the bridge we strolled up the trail to the Enloe Dam, listening to the gentle roar of the river rapids below us and the birds singing above

The return trip was pleasant as like the ascent, we met nary a soul descending. We arrived back at our starting point 4 hours after we started. It was a great day and we felt tired… for me the best memory…

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