Day 29 – 33 To Southern Montanadaho!

Day 29

Slow ish morning packing while I was waiting for the PO to open so I could send myself a resupply box to Leadore. There were a gaggle of hikers with similar ideas at the PO. That done, I left Anaconda to little fanfare and much wind. As in, walking straight into the fairly strong gusts of wind during the road walk out of town.

A storm is coming! Maybe, possibly.

Hiked briefly with Quitter on the way out of town. Who I’ve mistakenly been referring to as Litter, oops. In my defense, when I met him, he was hiking with a guy named Trash. At least that’s my excuse and I’ll stick to it.

Still a road walk but vastly improved.

Anyhow, the walk out was much more pleasant than the walk in. Shorter, cooler, and at least some of it not on a highway. And gradually uphill. 

Some neat history & engineering in the middle of the woods

I was having some chafing on the left side of my hip belt.  The temporary solution that was nudging my pack and kilt up a bit and tightening it up a bit.  I didn’t realize until almost the end of the dirt road that I’d done this enough that the kilt no longer covered the left side of my butt.  Apologies to the one car to pass me on the dirt road during that section. 

Regained around 2,500′ of elevation today and only noticed during one steep pitch right near camp. Which I ran into just after lauding the trail for being well graded.

Nice thing about being near the trailhead: more bridges

Ran into a mountain lion cub (maybe? Not exactly sure)*. Whatever it was, it was as curious about me as I was about it.

(* Edit:  learned later that it is a pine marten)

Hey buddy.

Tonight’s campsite is one of my favorite of the trail thus far. Well sheltered site on the lakeside. Somewhat crowded, unsurprisingly. Around the same group of people I was near before Anaconda. Including Cowpie (formerly Tyler).

Upper Twin Lake

Looking forward to tomorrow. Finishing the Anaconda alternate and getting back to the red line! And lots of going up and over passes, which I’ve been missing for the past few days. We’ll, no, I haven’t been. But nevertheless that’s what’s on the menu.

Day 30

Five pass day. Twin lakes pass, Storm lake pass, Rainbow mountain, Cutaway pass, and (most of) Warren lake pass. Scenery wise, the trail was the best it’s been since Glacier. Except for the last pass it had well graded switchbacks that made the climbing easier.

Safety meeting on Twin Lakes pass.

This was a theme for the first couple passes.

Obligatory summit photo

Mostly a photojournal type day. I got into camp late and would rather sleep than journal (sorry not sorry?).

Day 31

Thought today would be easier than yesterday. One fewer passes but similar elevation gain. What made it seem more difficult was crossing through burn areas. They have significantly less shade. In this case a number of blowdowns.

Thank you, again, trail crew!

More adorably, they have more frequent ‘sentinel’ squirrels that just stand dead still on a stump or a log and chirp loudly. I think, to warn its brethren that there is a human or other predator around.

Not at all cryptic.  Also, not trail magic.

I’m looking forward to a slightly easier day tomorrow. Followed by a much easier day Friday prior to hitching into Darby. Will see if I can finally actually get a milkshake; I haven’t had one since St Mary’s.

Also, this morning, I finished the northern Montana map section. I’m excited for a couple of reasons. There’s only 5 map sections, so it feels like a notable achievement. And the more mundane reason of only needing to deal with one map section until I’m close to Wyoming.

Day 32

I just walked five hundred miles and… well, I think I have, at least. On trail mile 606 at the moment, and with the alternates I’ve done that’s probably 500 actual miles.

The word for the day is blowdowns. More of them today than on the rest of cdt combined. Several times over. None were super severe there were just a ton of them. I thought today would be easier due to less elevation, but I forgot about the blowdowns.

A stack of blowdowns.

Bit over 10 miles to Darby. Some diligent morning hiking and a bit of luck hitching and I should be there for town lunch.

Walking through the 2022 burn.

My legs, are not clean.

Day 33 – Into Darby!

Town day!  Also, hiking through green, very cruisy, trail.  Which after going thru burns near all day yesterday was a relief.

The green tunnel.

Booked it pretty much all the way to Chief Joseph pass.   As I approached the pass I saw Garbanzo talking with a guy who’d pulled over so I hustled down there in time to learn that he was going the wrong way.

Scene of the hitch

Had a few people stop and give us beverages instead of a ride.  Which is better than nothing.  Though as soon as I opened a beer I realized it probably wasn’t beneficial to hitching. So I drank it pretty quickly.  Eventually we got picked up by a college student from Hawaii, much appreciated. 

Darby is a cute town.  The hotels were full so I camping at a RV park.  Still looking forward to a bed eventually.  Will need to call ahead for Lima I suppose. 

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Comments 2

  • Tom Bergeron : Jul 26th

    I think that’s a pine marten, not a lion cub.

    • Braveheart : Jul 27th

      Thanks! I added a quick edit.


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