PNT Mile 170
Waking up in Mt Henry Lookout was awesome. We slept thru any color in the sky but it was still incredible. We looked down on the fog in the valleys and all around at the mountains. The wind had died down.
We weren’t in any hurry to leave. I had hot coffee (thanks to the wood stove and Emma and Chris’s gas stove) for the first time on trail. I don’t carry a stove and usually have cold coffee every morning. It really is ok and doesn’t make me feel deprived. But hot is better. And a real treat.
At Turner Creek Falls we decided to take the Vinal Creek plus Forest Service road “unofficial alternate.” That’s what the guidebook called it.
When we got out to the gravel road I checked the map. I needed to go into Yaak, MT, to pick up a resupply box. Emma and Chris didn’t. It looked like I could save time by turning left instead of right. We parted ways but I knew where they were planning to camp.
Two minutes later a truck came by and it turned into a most interesting encounter. Micah Clark founded Camp Patriot to “give back to those who have given.” He takes disabled veterans on outdoor adventures. He dreams big and is putting those dreams into action. He has a gorgeous ranch which he uses as a home base for the adventures.
Micah offered to take me all the way (about 7 miles) into Yaak but needed to stop at his ranch first. Some kind of festival was going on in Yaak and Micah offered to take me back out to the trail. So I stopped at the Mercantile, got my box, opened it and stuffed everything into my pack. He ended up taking me all the way out to where E&C were going to camp. All that took one hour and 15 minutes.
So of course I got here way before E&C. And also of course the afternoon thundershowers started. I scouted around for the best campsite off a side road and set up my tent. With our inReach devices I soon learned that they are going past this point. But I’m all set up and I’m staying here. It’s my first night camping alone on this hike. It’s fine.
I’m just so impressed with the energy and own money that Micah is pouring into his project. His mission is to “empower and thank wounded and disabled veterans of all generations through outdoor programs.” If you are interested in learning more check out http://www.camppatriot.org. He is looking for corporate sponsors.
I needed this short easy day.