Continental Trail thru-hike week 12. A Super Butte Alternate.


The Wyoming/Idaho border had a very small sign on the ground. No liesence plates like on the other borders. The woods were quiet and still. Burned sections of trees made way for new undergrowth to develop.

When I came out of the woods I came to Big Springs, Idaho. I was surprised at the amount of flow that came from the side of the hill. It’s like a river comes out of no where. I drank 2 liters of the water and packed 1 out. It was delicious.

The Road Walk

Hikers were taking all kinds of alternates in this section. There was a fire on trail to the West closing part of the red line. Some people took “The Anaconda.” Others, “The Super Butte.” My route was made up of road walks.

The Madison Range looked amazing on my right. I’ve drivin by in the past but going slow, I could soak up the view better. Some people were looking for special red rocks that shine like gems. They were sifting through the ditches. I started looking down at the gravel. No such luck.

I crossed into Montana and was happy to be in my last state. It had been over 80 days and I was just beginning to have some blues. The ease of terrain helped counter the negative thoughts.

Soon I came to the Madison River around an Earthquake Lake. The land looked as if it opened up into tiers. Mountains on either side made for a special view. Fishing boats floated down casting fly rods into trout pools. The sun glistened off their lines and water. I thought about the long journey of the river into the Missouri, Mississippi, and then the Gulf of Mexico.

Dark clouds in the distance formed. I wished them away but more came. Soon it was raining but my rain gear was keeping up. Next lightning and cold wind. I started looking for cover but thier was no trees. It began hailing increasing to grape size. The pelting hurt so I put my pack over my head and tried to wait it out in a ditch. I spotted a tractor and moved to get under it. Finally I had cover. I missed being on trail were you could set up a tent easier.


Back on the red line just after Butte felt great. I missed being in the wilderness. My appreciation for the trail was strengthened. I was gratefull for the opportunity to have the experiances on this journey. Being open to different adventures and trying to tune my sences to a direction for me to go.

My hope is that I am strong physically and mentaly for the rest of Montana.

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