After gaining an extra hour the day before, we rose earlier than usual and broke camp to finish the rest of the dirt road walk up to Garvey's Peak. Here there is a lookout tower that you can rent! If you happen to be one of those people who plans in advance...
After about 3 more miles we were finally back on trail (for a bit) and a lovely trail it was- nice soft pine needles and morning's shade. This was not to last though, as we broke out onto more roads and the morning's breeze seemed to waffle between accepting the day's impending heat and holding on to what was left of a cool morning. Ultimately- the heat won. And just in time for a nice 2,000 foot climb to... wait for it... ROCK CANDY MOUNTAIN!!! (It's a Liopleurodon, Charlie! Ugh. They took my liver. *you're laughing if you know it*) Anyway, back to the trail. We were graced with stunning views and sparse snow at the peak, which generated an icy cold stream from which we partook heartily. We were even visited by a hummingbird at lunch, I kid you not, 1 foot from our faces! Friendly bugger. From here the trail led downwards and we were finally able to register (my first time!) as official PNT hikers. We continued to summit one last peak, Mt. Canuck, before heading down to camp just before the Idaho border.
Who da ho, you say? IDAHO! That's right, we woke up and walked into another state before 7 am. There actually seemed to be a noticeable change in the landscape as the mountains became more rounded and rocky compared to the now familiar Montana turf. The lovely beargrass seamlessly crossed the border and its pollen covered our black shirts as we brushed passed. The trail was well maintained though and we had a pit stop to look forward to- the Fiest Creek Falls Resort. After descending though MANY switchbacks that were covered in a free tasty treat, Huckleberries!, we arrived on a dirt road that lead north towards Fiest Creek. As a locomotive passed, we approached what has become somewhat of a haven and resting spot for PNT hikers and were greeted warmly by whom we later found out is the owner's niece. Seeing as we had a 3,300 ft climb ahead of us, we didn't want to weight ourselves down and just stopped for a drink and to sign their hiker log.
While the morning had been relatively cool, it conveniently warmed up as we ascended our mammoth climb over the course of hundreds of switchbacks up Bussard Mtn. It was well worth the effort though as the views from the top took our breathe away. Thus, as the natural flow of movement dictates, what goes up must come down and we made our way down the other side of Bussard. Again on great trails and a happy huckleberry ending to our day! We foraged for a bunch before dinner and threw them in the mix. Yum! Tuna, huckleberry, Ramen, mashed potatoes!!!
We knew this morning would be a short day as we had to hitch into Bonners Ferry to resupply. It was a long hitch, at 15 miles, and our spirits dimmed after an hour+ of no luck :(
(New Zealand peeps, you totally spoiled us!)
Alas, our knight in shining armor came along in the form of Cliff- the owner of the Fiest Creek Falls Resort!!! Not only did he give us a lift- he took us to his hanger, showed us his 4 planes he'd built (yes, built) and GAVE US AN SUV to use for the night! It's a lovely old GMC Yukon and it has saved us the pains of walking about town when we didn't have to. A stop at the Chic-N-Chop, laundry, resupply and library time = a successful time in town before hitting the hay at a local motel. Over and out again tomorrow.
Oh, just a small plane collection
Road to Fiest Creek
The guard rail... guarding nothing.
Maybe Mermaid needs her magical mermaid charm!
Beargrass for days!
What's that? A bed!
Fiest Creek Resort