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Into Montana after 17 Weeks on the Trail

Currently I lie in the grass under shade of a tree in Lima, MT.  I am enjoying a zero today before the next stretch takes me into Leadore, ID.  The following post is a couple days of writing, directly taken from my personal trail journal with minimal edits made and photos added.  Enjoy!

Aug. 25: Day 118, 14 miles

6:13 p.m.: At camp for the night, near to a shiver as the wind blows right through.  Walked through a burn area the past few miles and decided to stop at this lovely, well broken in campsite.  I presume it well used by those who travel by horse; fire pit, seating all around, wood stacked between trees, tent sites, and a hitching post that is tall enough to be used as a pull-up bar.  I managed two, slightly worried about its weight limit.

There are two gentlemen on the other side of the lake fishing; must be a campsite or two over there as well.

Beautiful ridge walk along the ID/MT border.

This afternoon I rested under the shade of three large trees, sitting on a rock right beside the trail, legs sprawled, stretching out across trail.  Was right by water source.  Laid out and listen to the breeze, played music, and hydrated while occasionally snacking on Fritos.  Such a salty snack.

Fourteen miles for the day.  Thought about having a ramen before carrying on a bit but decided to stay.  Have plenty of food, no need to rush out of the woods.  23.5 from the interstate, where I will hitch to get into Lima, 19 miles north.  Water sources are becoming a situation, may need to pick up another liter in town.  At a three-liter capacity for this stretch, longest carry being 18 miles, which I could do on two but am more comfortable with three.

Visibility less than ten miles, getting closer to fires up north.

Hitching on I-15 should be a fun challenge.  Smile, wave with your left, thumb with your right.  Sure, I may look homeless, yet an approachable and friendly homeless.

When I was walking out of camp to stash my food bag, I did see a couple of southbounders, technically flip-floppers, Shaman and Bamboo, who are finishing up their Triple Crown, about 450 miles left, gotta get to South Pass City.  They know Top Nach from PCT 2016.  A lot of 16ers out here from the PCT.  They got the second one done after doing the AT and just had to knock this one out, too.  Curious to see where these Triple Crowners go next. 

Wow.

Aug. 26: Day 119, 17.5 miles

Pad still leaks…  Ridiculous.  Little bit of rain last night.  Mostly spitting, which it is doing now as well.  Weather forecast said cloudy today, rain tomorrow.  At least these clouds will keep me cool if the rain doesn’t attempt to keep me frozen.  Patches of blue sky about, sun slowly brightening the eastern clouds.  Dull and gray everywhere else.  Week 17!  Well, today marks 17 weeks on trail.  Odd number. 

In the midst of the last worst climb before the descent into Lima.  Around 4 p.m.  Cruisin’ under gray skies.  Sun showed up intermittently during my lunch break.  No rain – knock on wood.  Will get within five to eight miles of the road this evening.  There is a greater chance of rain tomorrow so I want to get a hitch before I get too wet. 

No I don’t sleep like Snoopy, merely fluffin’ up the feathers while watching the sun set.

A long to-do list developing for my town visit.  Hoping my new pack is there tomorrow so I can transfer everything over without having to wait a whole day.  Or two, the latest delivery date is the 28th is what it said when I ordered it. 

Some beautiful views atop the Divide today.  Still somewhat smoky but not terribly so.  Saw one guy on a horse this morning, not very friendly, was kind of hiding behind a tree, not sure if he was smoking something, taking a leak, or just admiring the view.

About to climb that mountain in the background.

Dirt road walk to the interstate.  Looks like rain up ahead, map shows little to no tree coverage until then.  Stopped 6ish short of the interstate, dropped below the ridge I was walking on, and found some coverage, from the wind mostly.  Lots of cows around, found a flatfish spot, erected my tent quickly, and threw everything in or under the rain fly, expecting rain. 

Could start raining any second, could wait till morning or afternoon.  Who knows.  Definitely raining off in the distance, though.  I was tired and hiked plenty today.  Any farther and I may have made a push all the way down to the interstate.  Especially if it had started raining. 

Lima tomorrow!  First town in the great state of Montana.

Still smilin’!

Thanks for reading!  Peace and Love

knots

“Want of Care does us more Damage than Want of Knowledge”  — Benjamin Franklin

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