Little Badger Creek burbles and sings as it travels east through stands of oak trees with their resplendent autumn leaves in reds, oranges and yellows.
A four-mile grin-inspiring trail stays in the valley along the creek before reaching a secluded meadow.
This is where Kinzel built his cabin. It’s difficult to imagine a nicer location on a warm summer day or a sunny afternoon in the fall. Not much is left of the cabin – – – young cedar trees dot the dirt floor.
A short hike up the trail leads to Kinzel’s old mine shaft. The amount of effort to hike many miles from the nearest road, build a cabin and bore a large mine shaft is almost incomprehensible in today’s world. I marveled at the stamina and drive of the folks like Kinzel who opened up the Northwest.
Resting with my back against a tree and the sun in my face, the spirit of the old miner was almost palpable.
I said to myself, Kinzel was a kindred spirit.