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