Wednesday July 17, 14.2mi/22.9km
Bowman Lake Head camp (40.9/4042ft) to Polebridge/North Fork Hostel (55.1/3527ft) (MT)
I heard noises outside my tent at 7am, so I was awake and decided to pack up. Turns out the noises were from a very non-shy rabbit!
I had a leisurely breakfast at the food area with a couple hiking the western side of the park. I rolled out after 8am, and had views of Bowman Lake for a couple of hours.
I reached the western end of the lake at 11am, and saw lots of families driving in to the area for a picnic lunch. The weather seemed like it was starting to clear.
I took a break at some picnic tables, had a snack, disposed of my trash, and filled my water for the 7-mile roadwalk to town.
Along the road, I saw this strange sign, which raised many questions. Like, why is there a public horse here? And why does it need a ramp? Are they stunt horses?!
A few miles later, I crossed over the North Fork Flathead River.
And a few minutes later, I was in “town”! It’s just a dozen buildings or so, but everything hikers need – a restaurant, general store, and hostel.
I met two other PNT hikers in town, Mesquite and Charger. This is their first long hike, and they were very entertaining to talk to, and so excited for the trail.
I went “shopping” from the hiker box, then went to the general store to grab a few more items. It rained intermittently throughout the afternoon, so I stayed in the hostel and had social time with the other guests. The entire town is off the electricity grid, so everyone went to bed at sunset (9:30pm), it feels like camping!