PNT day 10 – Purcell Mtn Trail & Mt Henry Lookout


Boulder Lake Camp (161.5) to Mt Henry Lookout (170.2)

8.7 miles

I was lying in my sleeping bag and listened to the otherworldly silence outside. No wind, no rain, nothing.

“Krck, krck, krck” something was outside my tent. I turned around to make some noise and yelled “get out!”. Half an hour passed and I couldn’t go to sleep. There was the noise again. Something was outside. It sounded more like a squirrel than like anything big. However I didn’t want to have anyone chewing at my tent. I shooted out of my sleeping bag, grabbed my headlamp and opened the tent zippers. Of course the animal was gone until I was outside. I was shining around with my headlamp and yelled to scare whatever away. I needed some sleep! But sleep would come hardly tonight.

In the morning I saw the two guys who had kept me up: two young deer were around and they weren’t too much afraid of me. They seemed curious. Fighting off 2000 mosquitos buzzing around me I packed my stuff and went – because of the mosquitos- without breakfast. Still lying in my tent I had been hoping for some nice morning sun. Now out I could see why I didn’t get any. Dark clouds were hanging in the sky and it didn’t look like the sun would come out today.

A perfect day to aim at a fire Lookout to stay for the night. It was less than ten miles away but there was a fair amount of climbing involved. I was dressed up in full rain gear and only took down the rain hood every once in a while when I got too hot from climbing. In my shoes swimming pools accumulated and my feet would be wet for just another day.

Leaving Eureka and Rexford behind I had also officially left the Rocky Mountains. Now I was in section 2 of the trail (out of 10): the Purcell Mountains. So far I haven’t seen too much of the landscape as it was nearly always raining and the mountains were covered in clouds.

Especially as I started today’s last climb up Mt Henry and towards the Lookout I was hiking in clouds. Getting further up to the summit the trail was all rocks and exposed and all of a sudden I was in a horrible wind. The Lookout appeared out of the cloud.

Fighting against the wind I took the last switchback and went towards the stairs leading up. A sign from the Forest Service let me know that this Lookout wasn’t maintained for public use. Whatever that means…

I went up the stairs and took away the wooden protection of the door. Inside it looked homely. I especially congratulated myself when I could see the wood stove. Other than that there was a table, a bench to sit on and two wooden beds. What else did I want? The windows were covered from outside with wooden planks and I had no desire to remove them. The wind was blowing like crazy. Sometimes I could feel the whole structure moving in the wind.

A journal on the table reassured me as I read that other hikers had stopped by recently. I settled down and tried to start a fire. It was way too windy (or I can’t make a fire) and I had to use one of my emergency fire starters. At least it was burning afterwards! The small room started to heat up when I saw another hiker approaching the Lookout. I welcomed Cheeto and Fartbag. They are heading eastbound and are from Canada. Anyways we are all here on the lookout tonight and we might celebrate the Fourth of July a little bit. Maybe we can see some fireworks from up here?!

2 replies
  1. Stefanie Waldow
    Stefanie Waldow says:

    Hallo Sonja,
    Wir wünschen dir für morgen einen schönen Geburtstag mit schönem Wetter, netten Bekanntschaften, herrlichem Ausblick und alles Gute, vor allem auch Gesundheit und weiterhin viel Spaß bei deiner Tour.
    Liebe Grüße aus der Pfalz, Stefanie, Gudrun und Peter 😊


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