Garver Mountain Trailhead (197) to Trail Camp (217.6)

20.6 miles

This morning I cheated a lot. Randy had offered to give me a ride down the road to the trailhead. Turned out that the trailhead was about 13 miles away on forest roads. Normally I would have to hike along all these roads, but well…

So I got the first climb of the day done very comfortably in Randy’s pick up truck. After a short photo session (Randy wants to promote the trail and give it a face as some weird people want to relocate the trail away from the area around Yaak) I said goodbye and walked into the forest. As I missed out on all the forest roads I took a 30 minutes detour to hike up Garver Mountain and see the lookout tower. It was a reservation only lookout and a sign told me that there was a silent ongoing that I should not disturb. At least I got the view from the mountain!

My initial plan for the day was to hike to mile 205. There was the last campsite with water for a while. But as I got there very early in the day it didn’t make sense. I decided to hike on and started uphill on Midge Creek Trail. The trail went up until it eventually reached the ridge and followed it for a while. It seemed like a trailcrew had been here lately cutting trees. My advantage because the trail was hard to see and follow. I followed a mixture of bend leaves and cut trees.

Around the junction with Rock Candy Trail the trail got more alpine and exposed. I had decided early on to head for the next dry campsite mentioned on the map which was at mile 217. It would be a long day and it was already late afternoon when I got to the junction of Rock Candy Trail. From here it was mostly downhill or along the mountainside.

Looking at the map I decided to take a shortcut and skip the last climb up to Canuck peak. I’ve had enough climbing for today and it was getting late. The shortcut down the mountain directly led to the forest road where the trailcamp was. I just had to hike a bit uphill to get back to the primary route of the PNT. When I came to the intersection, looking out for a campsite I bumped into two cyclists – David and Leo. It turned out they stayed at the trailcamp as well. David is a blast and he talks without end. They set up their huge tent and shared a campchair and a table with me. They also fed me dinner and I couldn’t resist asking if the chocolate chip cookies contained some weed. 😉

Lying in my tent I can still hear David talk. They are such an odd couple! But I really appreciate the company and I am glad I’ve met them. Before I go to sleep I have to move my socks outside the tent. They stink!!

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