Out & About
18 hours bags Kettle Crest Trail
Four hikers recently marched the entire 45-mile length of the Kettle Crest Trail and called it a day.
Siblings Aaron, Joe and Micaela Theisen plus Derrick Knowles of Spokane started at 5:45 a.m. from White Mountain trailhead and trekked north, hitting Sherman Pass at 11 a.m. and scarfing a dinner at 5 p.m. on the flank of Midnight Mountain.
They finished at Boulder Pass at 12:15 a.m. last Sunday.
“The best part was watching the sun rise from White Mountain, which in my opinion is the most beautiful area in the Kettle Range, and then watching the golden light hanging on the tops of Bald, Barnaby Buttes, Snow Peak and Edds Mountain as we hiked westward,” said Knowles, who’s worked with Conservation Northwest to propose Kettle Range areas for wilderness designation.
He said his mind was playing games with him near the end, “making me wonder how much farther the trailhead could possibly be.”
His GPS ran out of battery juice halfway through, but the elevation gain and loss is colossal, he said. Still, they’re calling the hike “the cakewalk,” and they celebrated with cupcakes.
Oh, but the way, trail runner Jake Wilson of Colville started with the group, but left them in the dust. He finished in 11 hours.
Pepper spray beats bullets to ward off aggressive grizzlies
Hunters are contributing to the high rate of grizzly bear deaths that factored into a federal judge’s recent decision to put the bears back on the threatened species list.
It might sound silly to a hunter carrying a high-powered rifle, but readily accessible pepper spray is the best alternative for preventing bear attacks and dealing with surprise encounters, according to Alaska Fish and Game Department research.
Bear spray can be used quickly, accurately and with a higher effectiveness rate than guns.
Moreover, using pepper spray instead of bullets could spare deaths among the threatened species, and therefore prevent some big-game units from being closed to hunting.
Fly fishing has a clear fall option
Fluorocarbon tippets, which are smaller in diameter than monofilament of the same strength rating, are one of the finer points for successful fall fly fishing in low, clear river flows.
By this time of year, trout are educated. They’ve seen it all.