Part Two of the PNT: Eureka, MT to Bonners Ferry, ID.

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**I’ve got about an hour before my ride picks us up at the library so please excuse the rush job on this post. Will attempt to edit later. Like in the fall. **

Day 12

After four days in Eureka we hit the trail with fresh feet. Eureka was great.

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Colorful locals, good food, and a helpful community center. The museum employees let me pick a bunch of exhibits despite the “NO TOUCHING” signs. That was pretty good.

The day started off nice enough on the rails to trails system. Stopped in Rexford for lunch before hitting the first of many terrible no good uphill slogs in the hot sun. Right before the ascent we stopped at Boulder Creek for water where a craggy pit claimed the life of an nalgene bottle. Severely limiting our capacity to carry water. This necessitated big mile days so we could camp near water. At the top of Mt. Webb we encountered a charming family staying in the fire look out. They gave us water and rolls. They even let us come up and check out the view.

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Day 13

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Hiked another 20 some day. To another tower. This was Mt. Henry and it was first come first server. Fortunately we encountered some trail friends and they made room for us in the lookout. The views were astonishing and the company was great. Also. It was super safe.

Day 14

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Hiked into Yaak. The town consists of three buildings and two of them are bars. Better yet there were bigfoot paintings and signs everywhere. Easily my favorite town stop so far. The people were super friendly and very welcoming.

Day 15

Four of us hiked up to NW Peak alternate to another lookout. Getting up early to avoid the heat and taking long breaks mid day is proving a succesfull strategy for dealing with teh oppressive heat. It’s also helping us conserve water. I thought it would be wetter and cooler on the PNT but it’s been hot and shitty. The locals all say this is the hottest summer they’ve experienced. They also don’t believe in global warming. Weird. I could get used to camping in these fire looks out though.

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Day 16

At about 2AM I thought the wind was gonna knock the shack (and us in it) right off the mountain. I laid there listening to the howls of the wind until about 5AM. Time to get up and crawl down a mountain. It was several downhill scrambles followed by a bushwack. The trail a figment of our collective imaginations. Existing in this space only because we agreed it was so. Slow hard miles that took the better part of the morning to put down. But at least it was fun. We crossed into Idaho today.

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Day 17

Idaho has very nicely managed trails. Although I heard the section ahead of us is the hardest on trail. The first miles in this wilderness were well maintained and well marked. Saw only the occasional blow down. Saw a large brown beast today. I thought it was maybe a bear but my friend said moose. I’m inclined to believe. Ended up hiking up to a forest service road and camping out on the side of it. The designated camp spots were marshy breeding pits for mosquitoes. Hard pass.

Day 18

Today I went fishing. I didn’t think I’d get the opportunity on trail but the opportunity

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was unavoidable. Put down 10 miles in the morning and stopped at Fiest Creek Resort for some lunch. As I was pulling my ID card, debit card, and cash out of my pack I fumbled hard and dropped up through the opening in the deck. You can’t really get down there though. The waitress brought me a ruler, a large flat metal spoon, tweezers and a roll of duct tape. She wished me luck, and with a little help from my friends I was able to fish my identity out of the cracks of the deck.

I ended up eating too much and hiking up another shitty mountain. Just straight up. Made it to a dirt road and camped on it.

Day 19

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It was mostly downhill and we walked through berry country. It was Sunday so the place was packed with locals doing some berry hunting. Trail magic can be a cold beer, hot food, or a surprise package- But sometimes it’s a puppy on the trail who wants to play with you and your friends. Spent a really long time sitting in the middle of the road with a pretty cute pooch. Highlight of the day.

Got to Brush Lake and managed to hitch a ride within three minutes. The local trail angel of Bonners Ferry just happened to be leaving the lake and there we were. I really hope our luck holds out on this trip. She dropped us off at the Cottage Inn where we camped in the back. The man at the desk was a real smarmy turd and I’d encourage any future hikers to stay at the fair grounds for free instead of giving this place your money.

Day 20

Went to the PO and got an excess of packages. Truly so lucky to have the support of so many great people in my life. Leaving shortly for the next section. Supposed to be pretty brutal, so I guess it’s all downhill after this.

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