Setting off for the GDT!
The hike is here!
June was an absolute gong show. The final prep for the hike took way more time than expected and I was super stressed out, I always get super grumpy when I’m stressed out. There were a few things we didn’t see coming in the final stages before the hike. Finding a storage unit is a near impossible task. Seems like people have way too much shit and just never get rid of it. After calling well over 20 storage units we found one that had a unit available. Turns out it was a bit of a scam so we ended up having to file a fraud alert. Then we had to hunt again for a place, eventually finding a place albeit a bit too small for all our stuff. Thankfully, Tanya’s cousin Liz hooked us up and we could store some of our things at her house (our future home) in the meantime.
The other frustration was in regards to our resupply boxes. They took over a day to finalize when we were expecting just an hour or two. Additionally, we had to mail our boxes to a couple unique locations. The person helping us at the post office seemed determined to not be helpful or find out how we could mail them. Mailing boxes to Saskatchewan Crossing is a bit of an anomaly. They do not have mail delivered on site, instead they pick up their mail from the depot in Lake Louise over an hour away. Long story short, they have a strange address on the box and the guy helping us wouldn’t take the box. Secondly, we were shipping our other box to Lake Louise for general delivery. He said after 2 weeks of no pickup the box would be mailed back. Unfortunately, we wouldn’t be there for almost 4 weeks. When we asked what to do, he said sometimes if you call the post office they will hold it for longer. Great! Can we get the direct number? (It’s impossible to find the direct number and can’t be patched through). No, he wouldn’t give us the number. WTF dude? In the meantime he went back to playing on his phone. We left and went to another post office. They were so helpful and got us on the phone with Lake Louise and mailed our box to Saskatchewan Crossing in just a few minutes. The prep was finally complete! Our food was in the mail, now we just had to get to Waterton!
We moved all our stuff Wednesday-Thursday and set off to Waterton on Saturday! After seeing a major heatwave hitting our first week on trail we made a few gear adjustments. I picked up a sun hoody to keep my sanity. We also left our warm clothes and rain gear in Coleman (our first resupply), we weren’t going to need extra fleece layers or rain protection with a forecast of daily highs reaching the high 30s (high 90s F).
Tanya’s cousin pulled through for us AGAIN and drove us the 7 hours to Waterton so we could start our hike. Unfortunately, my car’s AC crapped out only a couple weeks before the start of the hike which made for a very hot drive but at least it was a beautiful drive.. After one night in Waterton National Park we hiked to the start of the trail: a 6km hike down to the US/Canada border at the Waterton Lakes/Glacier National Park international peace park border monument. It was a quick easy day and we met several other hikers starting their GDT hikes. Little did we know this would be the beginning of our trail family! After our quick hike the day was filled with charging all of our devices, searching for any power outlets that were in the shade. I should have gotten a faster battery bank, my 10,000mAh took well over 4 hours to charge. Oh well, time to rest up for the big hike! The next day would be our first big day on trail and we would be leaving town, power and cell service for 6 days!
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