Twig Adventures

PNT Day 18: Bussard Mountain

Monday July 18th, 2022, 1430-1930
US Hwy 1 to Bussard Mountain, WEBO mm 238.5, Segment 2 Purcell Mountains
13 miles plus 2 miles in town, Gain 4320′, Loss 500′, elevation 5930

We had another long section coming up, in which we’d be leaving Idaho to enter western Montana. We were aiming to hike 115 miles to Eureka all in one stretch but had a few options for obtaining food along the way. Our first was a resort called Fiest Creek, which we hoped to get to this day. Well, town was a bit of a vortex, to say the least. We’d met 2 PNT WEBO hikers at the RV park, B-ham and Carlos. They knew a trail angel that had offered to give them a ride later in the day, so we opted to join in. I did some more chores in the morning, sorting out my resupply. Then I walked with Wolverine and B-ham to the PO downtown…all 2 miles. Since we were already there, we figured we’d get a beer or 2 at the brewery along with lunch. We each had a very delicious salad. I followed up with ice cream and finally it was time to get out of town.

I could have aqua-blazed down the Kootenai river with this gator floatie I found… embracing the Florida roots!

Sarah, our TA, was a local real estate agent and very eager to show us around. She drove all the way to the border just to show us the hops farm. It was a nice drive and fun to get to know her a little. She dropped us off at the road intersection where we got a ride 2 days prior, and we were finally on our way. Doing some quick math, we realized there was a very small chance we could make it to the resort. So we decided just to camp on top of a mountain. The rest of the road walk was easy and then a sometimes steep but mostly switchbacked trail brought us to the top. On the way, we met 2 WEBOs and the wife of one of the guys. She was waiting to pick him up where the trail met road, supporting him in this way the whole time. In other words, he didn’t have to do any road walking and always had a ride waiting. What a service! She gave us some cold drinks, so we also benefited. Thank you!

It was time for camp by the time we summited and luckily there was an old road bed in the trees, out of the gusty wind. We made our dinners near an old bunker at the top, watching the sun set over the vast Kootenai valley. It was the first sunset I’d watched on trail and it was quite wonderful! An easy day that ended very well.

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