PNT day 9 – Webb Mountain Trail and Boulder Lake Trail


Mt. Webb trailhead (150.5) to Boulder Lake Camp (161.5)

11 miles

My night at Rose and Scott’s place was just awesome! But even if I tried to sleep in I was awake early with the birds. I sat down at the kitchen bar and Rose made some coffee. For breakfast we had oatmeal and maple syrup followed by scrambled eggs with cheese and some toast. I also got to eat fresh strawberries and raspberries! What a treat! We sat together for a while and played with their two daughters. They’re so cute!

The sky outside didn’t make me want to go. But I had to leave at some stage. Scott offered to take me to the bridge and beyond to the trailhead. For me there was no point in walking along the Highway for miles and so I said yes. At the trailhead I had to say goodbye. It might not have been a big thing for you guys to offer me a place to stay and some food but for me as a traveler far away from home it was! Thank you so much!!

Fueled by a good nights sleep, lots of food and the incredible hospitality of strangers who became friends in no time I started climbing up My. Webb. It would be a 3000 ft / 1000 km climb. I wasn’t even around the first switchback when I stopped to dress into my rain skirt. The brush overgrown trail was good for getting wet feet and trousers again. I could at least protect my trousers a little bit.

As I screwed up the mountain in never ending switchbacks the rain turned on and off. My feet were soaked early on and my shoes started to make a squirky noise. I already had some spots on my feet and didn’t really need the wet. While I hiked up Mt. Webb seemed to grow higher and higher. Every time I thought I was at the top it was just another plateau and the mountain behind it much higher. Turning around every now and then I watched Lake Koocanusa getting smaller in the distance. I left Rexford with the best of memories!

Scott had told me that the lake was once a river, turned into a lake by the Libby dam. It was 80 miles long and went into Canada. And I thought Bowman Lake was long…!

Eventually I reached the top of Mt. Webb and walked towards the Lookout tower for a late lunch break. I had read before that the Lookout could be booked and indeed it looked well maintained. People were staying there but they didn’t seem to be interested in me at all. What a different experience! They were definitely no Canadians was what I thought. One of them even carried a gun attached to his leg. Better ask if I could stay for a break. He said no problem and so I got off my shoes to dry my socks a bit. For lunch I had a tortilla with some honey ham. I am sick of tuna!

After my break I hiked on. From here it would be mostly downhill. I was just hiking along and down a foresty mountainside when I heard a strange noise. What kind of animal was that? I clapped with my sticks to let the wildlife know I am there. Was it a coyote? There, again… around the corner came no one else than Caro – the other PNT hiker I bumped into on a regular basis. I was wondering if she wanted to attract animals with her weird call.

I let her shoot ahead as she wanted to be in Bonners Ferry at a certain time. My goal was a potential campsite close to a creek. When I arrived there I didn’t like it too much and a sign informed me about bear hanging structures at the nearby Boulder Lake. So I decided to go there.

Arriving at Boulder Lake I bumped into Caro again. But she didn’t want to stay as she wanted to make some miles. Also it was hard to find a good camp spot at the lake. I camping now close to the fire ring and eating area which is not the best. I also didn’t like the one bear hanging structure I could find and so my Ursack is hanging again on a poor pine tree well accessible for every bear. But it’s supposed to be bear proof!

Now I have to check maps again and make plans how far I want to go tomorrow. There’s an open lookout tower but it’s less than ten miles from here. Maybe I’ll just stay there as it’s the Fourth of July / Independence Day tomorrow. I might get to see some fireworks!

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