PNT day 14 – Bussard Mountain Trail


Fiest Creek Resort (230.2) to Bonners Ferry (246)

15.8 miles

I woke up at 4:30am. Sounds crazy? Actually there’s a one hour time difference between Montana and Idaho so yesterday I had to turn my watch one hour back. Good for me because now I could turn around and still hope for an early start. Once again it was town day!

I got up early, silently packed my stuff to not disturb DuPont and his girl who camped close by. It was freezing cold in the valley when I crossed over the railroad and walked through what looked like abandoned ranch land towards Bussard Mtn trailhead.

The climb of 3000ft (1000m) up wasn’t as bad as I thought. But it also took slightly longer than I thought – once again I blamed the maps for not showing the correct mileage.

Up at the top I had energy enough for the little sidetrip to the top of Bussard Mtn from where I had great views into the Kootenai Valley.

In my head a plan for my time in town was forming. I was wondering where I could find a place to stay. Using the WiFi at Fiest Creek I had seen that my accommodation of choice was booked out for tonight. Would I have to camp the first night?

Making a mental list of all my ToDos I shooted down the mountain. It was perfectly sunny and I realized that I didn’t get wet feet today. But my feet were sore and my socks a mess after all the humidity of the last week. Sliding down an extraordinarily steep, sandy and rocky trail section I was looking forward to my new shoes which I had ordered to Bonners Ferry. New shoes, yay!

The trail turned into a forest road and I was glad that I found some water as the sun in the valley was baking. I hiked down the road looking out for the start of a potential bush whack towards Brush Lake.

Looking at the dense vegetation it didn’t seem appealing to me to fight through that. Would I just stay on the road? I was just warned by a car driver that a black bear was down the road when another car pulled by. It was an older couple and they asked if I was okay and if they could give me a ride to town. I was four miles away from the Highway where I would hitch anyway and so I said yes. Wilma and Larry were just driving around on the backroads for a day trip and invited me for lunch at Brush Lake. How could I say no to that? While we were sitting at a nice picnic table they offered me a place to stay at their home. How lucky was I?

I am a few miles away from Bonners Ferry but I got to sleep in a nice trailer in Wilma’s and Larry’s backyard and I get some really good and healthy food. Not to forget some great company!

I don’t like the condition of the trails in Idaho too much but the people are definitely awesome!

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