Big Eddy Training Hike

My dog, Sassy, joined me on my first training hike as I prepared for my pilgrimage along El Camino de Santiago, a 500 mile hike across Spain.


Sassy and I did our first training hike along the Big Eddy trail on the Dworshak Reservior in Orofino, Idaho. Poor Sassy doesn’t know that she’s not going to Spain with me!

A handful of campsites can be found along this nine and a half mile trail leading from the Big Eddy boat launch to the Dworshak State Park. The trail is free to use and can offer hours of majestic solitude as you trace the edge of the Dworshak Reservoir.

We set out in the early afternoon, but still managed to clear 8 and a half miles by dusk. The snow had cleared, but early Spring conditions were still wet on much of the trail. Work crews had not been out to clear the trail yet, either, which made for some interesting scrambles with a pack on.

I am notorious for chasing the sun below the horizon looking for that just so perfect camp site, and this trip was no different. We ended up pitching me our tent on the soft turf of a ravine ridiculously far away from any usable firewood. So much for dinner.

In the morning, we pressed on looking for the 9 mile marker. Naturally, we passed the campsite we were really looking for only half a mile from where we spent the night. We ended up passing the mile marker and quite unexpectedly stumbling upon the end of the trail at the Freeman Creek boat ramp. After a few pictures and stretches, we turned around and headed home.

A few steep climbs and the distance in general made this a good first run for me. I really got to test my limits; unfortunately, I found one of those limits with my right knee. Early on the return trip my knee began to flare up with pain on descents. I took my time and stretched frequently, but there was no other way to get home than to keep walking. I may have strained the knee and anticipate dealing with it on El Camino, so I bought knee brace for the trip.

My next hike will have to be a bit more paced!

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