- June 21, 2018
- Posted by Parker Dean
Amped and ready for our first backcountry hitch, we all packed our Glacier park issued military style duffels and military bear boxes with our gear the night before hitch. We were being packed in to our site by a team of 12 mules and everything had to be on time to avoid any catastrophes with the stock. On the day of the hike, we began our 7 mile trek after meeting our mules and packers that would be helping us along the way. Mentally prepared to be ‘roughing it’ on our first 9 day backcountry hitch, we were quite surprised to find that we would be tenting around and have a full access to a National Park ranger cabin for the full extent of our hitch. This cabin made the living cozy and comfortable. While we still slept in our tents, our project partner gave us the cabin for cooking and whatever use we saw fit. Though we lived comfortably in our cozy rustic cabin and tents, 9 days is a long time and our crew felt it, but held strong. Over our nine days we dug tread up and down the lake, around beautiful scenery, animals and our occasional friendly hikers. We were with the same partner as our last hitch, so ‘RJ’ continued to be an excellent resource and instructor to our new ‘traildogs’ by showing us how to build more turnpikes, dig better tread and with the help of his crew, even do some rock work. With his wealth of knowledge and us being surrounded by burn zones, RJ also led us in our COMPASS fire ecology lesson. Throughout our nine days around beautiful Kintla Lake the Glacier Crew had the opportunity to explore backcountry camping in manner that allowed it to be difficult but with a little comfort to go along. We learned many things about ourselves and one another, being surrounded by vast waters, forests and massive mountain ranges along with sheer silence helped us to look at ourselves and become more connected to our own thoughts, our crew members and nature.
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