Emerald City

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Hanging out in Seattle processing the last 5 months. Sometimes it’s like a blur, while some moments I remember with amazing clarity. I’m fortunate to have amazing friends here in Seattle that allow me to decompress in their beautiful spaces. (Yes, I was here also after the PCT)

Cerrie and Chad (missed ya, but Flapjack took me on a nice walk about!) have taken me in this time around. Cerrie you’re the best taking care of me, working and whipping out homemade dumplings, you rock! This was a last minute stop over, too bad. So many awesome people to see here. Some I just didnt get to see. But they too are in the midst of decompression and dusting off.

I did get to catch up with a dear friend from Iowa Sheri! Old friends are best they remind you how far you’ve come but that ya haven’t really changed. On trail I dreamed of a ‘nice’dinner (ya know with silverware) got to share that with my friend James. Thanks man your energy is contagious!
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Today I’ll hop a plane back to San Diego. Feels like I’ve been gone foreva!

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Where there’s smoke..

There was an Apocalyptic feel leaving camp for Many Glacier. Going to the Sun Rd was closed over night from fire. So it was weird crossing the road and there being zero traffic. Just the day before it was teaming with tourist headed for the falls. I am so coming back to Montana when it’s not on fire. First thing the permit was changed (Waterton was evacuated) so Chief Mountain it is! The rangers are keeping tabs on where hikers are in case conditions change, that’s nice to know.

Luckily, Garbelly told us about the Ptarmagin Tunnel trail it runs 20 miles, through a tunnel then right out at Chief Mountain at the border.

Another round of boys showed up that evening. Hikers are stacking up with the closures and rerouting. Moist, Roswell, Quicksilver and Mac (always fun to meet a blogger in person. We sat around laughing, chatting and eating.

I was excited and sad only one more day on trail. Had fun walking about the campsite talking to other campers, checking out their car camping rigs. A car camping road trip may be in my future!

Toasted Toad helped with us slack packing! That was fun for me, even the climb to the tunnel, then It was downhill  (except for the last 3 miles uphill, really). Embracing the Brutality, yep,…….almost there…..

 

Gonna miss this..

Well the first day into Glacier was great. What a beautiful area. There was only 11 miles to Two Medicine where we’d get our backcountry permits. About 2 miles out I ran into some goats on the trail!


Unfortunately at the ranger station we found out many other hikers beat us to the punch. Most campsites were full so our next day would have to be 26 miles, a long day, then 14 miles the next day. The other news was that the border at Waterton was possibly closed due to fires. We might not make it to the monument. The detour would put us at Chief Mountain…nooo (well ok, im being dramatic). Basically we’d have to wait til we got get our backcountry o Many Glacier for updated fire information.

Luckily Toasted Toad met us and had a campsite already at Two Medicine. He also brought drinks and dinner! Other hikers came in and enjoyed hot dogs, chardonnay and jack daniels shots!


Thanks to ME for grabbing my buff I dropped on trail! So glad I got to see Garbelly, ME, and Thor we werell on the same shuttle to the border the very first day….later sharing shade in the desert! There’s not a lot of people out here but the ones that are are pretty awesome.

To Canada….

So I managed to get my package, but Kelsey did not. Hanging around town we run into Flip flop and Quicksilver, apparently they were hiking about 5 miles behind us coming into town. We hung out that night and caught up over some beers. The boys were zeroing the next day and that is contagious. Suffice it to say we decided to stay and zero also. Plus we were hearing news other hikers were headed our way.

The next day we spent hanging out checking news on the fires. There are fires everywhere. Matter of fact turned out we had hiked through a fire closure. There were signs at the north end of the trail but not yet posted at the South!

Later about 10 hikers rolled in to town! Wow, I was super happy to see everyone. Garbelly, ME, Thor, Drive by, Scrapbook even Kate and Liam! We all went to the Mexican restaurant for dinner. Had a great night hearing everyone’s trail adventure stories. Funny how we are all on the same trail (sometimes within miles of each other) and have different but similar experiences. This was one of the best nights for me. The trail community really makes the experience. It sucks for those that had to skip the Bob Marshall wilderness due fire. We are not sure where some hikers are, hope they are safe if they pushed on into the Bob.


Today wake up early for one last hot coffee. We will wait a bit for Kelsey’s package then hit the trail. Most everyone else is doing the same thing. It would be awesome hike to then end with a fun group.

For now the CDT is open to the border, hoping that does not change and the fires stay to the east. I heard this is the worst fire conditions in 50 years. I’ve been looking forward to Glacier National Park for this whole trip.

Still can’t believe only 100 miles left about 4 days. But time to move, it’s getting chilly again. These last 5 months have been an incredibly crazy journey. Guess this is my last post til Canada…….see on the flip side!!

So close but yet so far

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Laying in my tent stealth camping in East Glacier, Mt. I lose track of days on trail, didn’t  realize that it was Labor Day weekend. Hostel is booked and so are most hotels. Hiking straight through that last section (with no town stops) was tough. It’s a 140 mile section if you go straight through. I under estimated my food needs, had to start rationing.  (This was poor planning and me being lazy. But food is heavy, yo. Ha, you’d think this was my first thru hike. Certainly not the first time I ran out of food. Doh) Was doing some 27 to 30 mile days to get done. I wasn’t  hungry but my energy levels were super low. Pretty much stumbling into camp (seriously, over ever tree root) eating a tortilla with peanut butter and passing out.


My legs are so scratched and tender from all the branches scratching, over growth, climbing over blown down trees and just tripping.


The route was beatiful taking us right by the wall and through the Bob Marshall wilderness. However, there a lot of fires, one we passed within 1/4 mile of the trail. The smoke limited the views and made the sun an eerie red. Many of the trails were closed, glad we made it through.

Our last day we hiked 29 miles to get to East Glacier. That was a super long day, but being that I was down to a bag of Skittles and a granola bar….well I was motivated. Made to town just in time to grab a burger before the restaurant closed!!

After stealth camping we headed to Brownies Hostel to grab our last packages. Unfortunately, the did NOT have them!! I was more than upset. I purposely had the packages sent early AND to the hostel to avoid the post office being closed upon arrival.

So frustrating, so close to Canada (like only 100 miles left) and this happens. I don’t want to (and can’t afford to) to sit here and wait. Mostly annoyed that the hostel is like, oh well.

On the upside, walking mad through town I run into a hiker i met on the PCT, then randomly in Portland, then ha here in Montana! Small world! They were in town for a wedding, gave us fresh fruit (Oh how I miss fruit,yum plums) and drinks! Made me feel better.
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Not sure, guess I may have to leave without packages. I’ll keep checking til we leave tomorrow. Packages have been known to just “show up”or “be found”. Fingers crossed.

PS:  Thanks Gary for the lift back to the trail! Oh and my shoes….yep duck tape!

Highway to HELena..

Hiking south from Anaconda turned out to be a great idea! The trail was nice, but it was really nice to run into other hikers we haven’t seen since Colorado! They were all guys, where my girls!? I wish I had taken pics, hope to see you guys up the trail!
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Last day hiking south I hiked 26 miles in about 9 hours, with breaks and stopping to chat, guess I was in the flow and feeling good. Got lucky on a hitch from a guy nice enough to give us a lift 60 miles back to Anaconda! After a good night’s rest and a quick resupply headed out on a long hot road walk. While hiding in the shade a local guy (Eddie Murphy, yes jokes were made) came by and said not to drink the water from the nearby stream. Instead he said stop by his house for water and camping in his yard. Took him up on the water but just tested in the yard til it cooled down, then night hiked on further.


The terrain in Montana changes quickly from farm land to forest. I really love that the climbs are gradual. However water is getting scarce. Learned quickly when there is water you better take it. Second day out planned on hiking and camping at a lake. I had about a cup of water left when I got to the “lake” The lake ended up being a shallow swamp. Ended up hiking another 1.3 miles to a drippping creek then carrying water uphill to find a campsite.

Other than limited water I’m enjoying Montana and cranking out 25 mile days! Less than 400 miles to go, Im gonna make it! But first a stop in Helena…

On the highway to HELena we met trail angel Barb!! She gave us a lift to town, a tour, and McDonalds (I was so hungry)! She even let us shower and do laundry!! She lives in a nice neighborhood where people hang out on their porches and chat. She even took us to the grocery and back to the trail!! Thanks you and Max went above and beyond.
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There are fires in the area and trail closures ahead. Thanks to all those firefighters out there on the ground and in the air!

Montana Idaho part 2

Well you really haven’t lived til you have slept on the floor at a truck stop. Yep that happened. The bus left at 5am and stealth camping was not an option with all the truckers and mosquitoes. Greyhound, man, I have no words. Seriously this girl on the bus (who had already been told to stop singing by the bus driver. His words: “this is not American Idol”, too funny) got kicked off the bus for shoplifting, for real.

Had a layover in Salt Lake City (why are people fascinated with the SLC convention center? ) Spent the 6 hour layover laying in the grass, looking real homeless, watching tourist take pictures of the place. Back at the bus station I did a happy dance when I found out the rest of our trip would be on this comfortable sprinter van!!!!

Finally arrived in Butte, Montana at 3:15 am, walked 1.7 miles to my motel. What? It’s to early to check in, shocked. Oh well luckily there was an empty couch in the lobby where I took a little nap. I don’t think they really liked that, but hey I got in my room by 10 am! I was in need of some real rest. The next day back on trail headed for Canada…..or so I thought.

To get back on trail where I had gotten off (Idaho not Montana, aka Montanaho) a few hitches were necessary. Seemed simple enough, wrong.
4 hitches and 6 hours later, found myself in nowhere, Montana! By nowhere I mean nowhere near the trail. DOH!! Finally gave up getting to the trailhead and took first ride I could get into town. See the trail goes right through the town of Anaconda, way north of where I wanted to be. So guess who’s southboundING, this girl! Then I am so headed to Canada.


Oh many thanks to the Adventure Camp Anaconda trail society for providing that sweet shed for hikers to crash in, in Anaconda!

Got to catch the eclipse from the Idaho/Montana border. Then had a great day seeing our hiker friends, on trail, we haven’t seen in a month or 500ish miles.