CDT Day 73 (ID/MT – W. Yellowstone to Leadore)

Beauty Border, Eh?

  • CDT Miles: 2,042.7-2,065.4. (22.7)
  • Total Hiked: 1,190.2 miles
  • Elevation Range: 6,835-10,000 feet

“Oh Montana, give this child a home. Give him the love of a good family and a woman of his own Give him a fire in his heart, give him a light in his eyes. Give him the wild wind for a brother and the wild Montana skies.” – John Denver

I decided to give myself an extra 15 minutes of sleep, the idea being, let the sun get things a little more lit up before I made the long trek to retrieve my food. All my bags were still hanging up there, but the grocery bag did split on the way down when it got snagged on a branch. Fortunately, only my cold soaking peanut butter jar fell out.

I hit the trail at 6:09am. No need for many words, it was simply stunning…

It was a tough climb, but I headed up switch-backing to the ridge in the next photo, and once up there it wasn’t too bad. Decent trail.

I wasn’t sure what to make of the parallel rows of ditches in this next photo. Maybe folks tried to farm up here at one point and these were an attempt at irrigation? This direction is looking over into Idaho, so could be for their tators… a mountain grown variety?

Up and up towards the big mountain on the left…

Pretty fun time lapse, one of my better ones I’d say…

The ridge I followed for most of the morning is pretty much the Idaho/Montana border. I think the boundary line is supposed to be aligned with the continental divide, but not sure. So, back and forth between the two states I went. Only later in the day did I distance a bit, but even then I crossed several times, just at bigger intervals. This is the trend for the next few hundred miles of trail, I just didn’t know it a the time.

Around 8:00am (yeah, pretty sweet morning already, right!?), I met another southbounder, Sundance. He had the smallest pack I’ve seen out here, looked pretty much like a regular JanSport school backpack to me. It was nice chatting and he gave me some info. about stuff up ahead. He was off to do a 3-day side trip to backpack the Teton Crest Trail. I like that I’m bumping into hikers again!

The trail made its way up to about 9,500 feet where I hiked on by the tall mountain via a pass of sorts (still on the way up to the higher Targhee Pass)…

Then went down into this bowl and eventually made my way through, up, and to the left.

On the switchbacks down…

I had my second breakfast by a nice freezing cold creek. In this next pic, it’s looking back at it, down in the valley…

From here, it was gradual for a while before the big push up to Targhee Pass. Saw a mama and tiny little baby deer out in the meadow as I set out.

I was really digging these rocks! They felt and looked like sandstone to me, which seemed odd.

11:30am Targhee Pass Summit Pose… “Katniss Everdean, I Volunteer as Tribute”

Ok, I got to work on photography skills if I’m going to continue with the summit poses again. I stayed up top there for almost 2 hours. Had lunch, did some phone stuff since had really good cell reception, and just enjoyed the high up views. Leaving here was a impressively long downhill pretty much down to 7,000 feet again. I felt for the sobo’ers that had to hike up it. Pretty amazing mountain I got to look at the whole way down…

After a long while, I could see the opening, the valley where it appeared I was heading. Like usual when I try to guess on where we’re going, I was wrong and the trail crosses to the left and hugged the foothills. At the bottom of the big bull, I stopped at a creek, soaked my feet, and changed socks out. Felt very refreshing. I then traversed up and down and up and down for a ways before dropping down to a highway.

Slow mo bee…

Cruising with the big meadow view…

The last 2 miles was a slog of a climb through overgrown trail ending with a steep dirt road that never seemed to end. The climb and the downhill earlier in the day kicked my butt. But I got to my goal and felt good that there were nice flat spots and a nice food hanging tree.

Took off my sweaty shirt to dry out…

Had dinner a ways away from my tent and while eating another hiker showed up, B-. Just said hey pretty much, but he set up nearby too and then we chatted for a while as I was hanging my food up in a tree. Turns out he’s a big Greensky Bluegrass fan and his main time constraint is making it down to Breckenridge in time for a few of their concerts.

What a beauty day!

Albums of the Day

“Californication” – Red Hot Chili Peppers

It’s About Time” – John Denver

Audiobook of the Day

Started “Brisingr” Book 3 of the Inheritance Series by Christopher Paolini

2 thoughts on “CDT Day 73 (ID/MT – W. Yellowstone to Leadore)

  1. Emily B

    Evelyn is loving your summit pose šŸ˜. She laughs every time she thinks about it. She is still cruising her way through the trilogy.

    Can’t get over the beauty of the scenery!!! I especially love the soft lighting in your morning and evening photos ā¤ļø


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