yesterday's walk started in the town of Weiser, Idaho, at the Weiser River Trail kiosk. Darla was spending the day with her sister, so she dropped me off to begin the walk. I walked 16 miles south to the town of Payette, following some back country roads which roughly parallel highway 95.
the attached map shows the route of Hill Road in green. this was my intended route. however, in tried-and-true "Doofus and Lark" fashion (except with only Doofus, not Lark) the orange line shows an unintended detour I took.
A few miles along, I came to a fork in the road which was not signed. The branch to the left did not look as well travelled, while the branch to the right looked like the main road. After some distance travelled along the right fork, it became apparent that it was taking me straight back to highway 95. Just before reaching the highway, there was a dirt road that cut back to the east. I figured this would take me back to Hill Road.....which, it did. however, there was an irrigation ditch intervening between the dirt road and the pavement of Hill Road. and there was no bridge across. I started to continue along the irrigation road, but it started heading back to the west again, and passed behind a fence line that was posted No Trespassing.
i didn't want to wind up on private property. I backtracked to the nearest point between the irrigation road and Hill Road.
well....here goes nothing. Let's get it over with. I took off my boots and socks and rolled up my pants over my knees. The water in the ditch only looked about knee deep. I found out that it was hip deep. Then I got over to the other bank and found it to be slimy mud. My hiking pole sank halfway. Oh, great, I'm going to get stuck in quicksand. I had to angle my way up the bank by digging a foot hold with my left foot, stepping up, and then digging another foothold with my right foot. All the way, I was clawing at the muddy bank with my free hand.
I scrambled up the bank and out across the pavement with half my clothes and body drenched and muddy. At least my boots and socks were dry, because I had cast them over to the other side. My wallet was wet. Fortunately I had stowed my cell phone and mp3 player in my shirt pocket. I finished the remaining 9 miles of the walk in wet pants, although by the end of the walk they were mostly dried out.
I rejoined highway 95 coming into the north side of Payette and walked another mile and a half south. I finally called Darla for a pickup after almost 6 hours and 16 miles of solid walking.
...the adventure lives on....