CDT Day 74 (ID/MT – W. Yellowstone to Leadore)

Where the Green Grass Grows

  • CDT Miles: 2,065.4-2,090.6 (25.2)
  • Total Hiked: 1,215.4 miles
  • Elevation Range: 6,985-9,650 feet

I’m not sure what makes a grass, a grass… and therefore not entirely sure if any of the mountain meadows I walked through today were in fact, where the green Grass Grows. They were green though, with lots of yellow dotted in and red and blue and white and purple as well.

Things kicked off with some cruisy two track.

I drank the last of my water packing up. There was supposed to be a nice spring 2.8 miles away, so I feared not. And indeed, I found it and it was delicious cold clear water. While filtering I happened to look up at the horizon on top of the hill in front of me… Right in the center, all majestic like, was a very large moosen….

It stood still and proud, scoping out the scene below. After a bit, it started trotting down the hill somewhat towards me. Mr. moose was still far a way and angling towards a set of trees where the water flowed, so I figure he was just wanting a drink. Super cool…

The easy walking two track continued and I made a pretty dang fast pace. Saw some cows and then saw a wall of mountain whose base I started heading towards…

I dropped all the way down to a road, where I saw this sign, then it was into the forest. Let the “hey bears” begin.

I did an out loud “wow wow wow,” when I came around a corner and things opened up to this. Turns out it’s called Hell Roaring Creek.

It was pretty loud. Going alongside the creek, there was a sketchy scramble part where it appeared the trail got eroded away. I persevered. From this point it was generally uphill for most of the day. Uphill, but beautiful.

It was a little before 5:30pm when I finally reached the trails high point for the day, around 9,600 feet elevation. The last couple miles had been grueling and exposed to the sun. I stopped many a time.  Even so, once up to where the trail leveled off, I was tempted by the summit just above. It didn’t look much further up to get to a sort of peak and so I went for it.

Turns out, this wasn’t the highest in the area, but pretty dang close and gave those awesome 360 degree views nonetheless. The further peak in the last pic is Taylor Mountain and looks to be the highest of the few right on this ridge. The last mile or so of the day was hiking on a sort of old leveled off road. I ended up camping right on it thinking I wouldn’t see any other hikers.

So, I got to my spot at 6:10pm. Basically I started looking for flat areas and a tree to hang in. Didn’t think bears would be hanging up this high anyways, but if I could, I still wanted to hang. Upon arrival, I got all my smelly stuff out and then set up for cowboy camping. Then, took all the smelly stuff and went a ways a way to have dinner.

While eating, a grey cloud seemed to be expanding over top of me. When I felt one or maybe two raindrops, I sort of panicked and went to go set up my tent. Left my food and everything, which is not super leave-no-trace since animals could get it while I’m away. I kept my eye on it though.

I did see a hiker approaching as I was setting up. It was none other than our pal Wingnut, who we’d met in the Winds and in Pinedale. It was so great to see him because we’d heard some rumors he had to get off trail. The rumors happened to have some truth to them. He did end up going to the hospital after we left him because of a high fever and on and off fatigue. Ticks! He got some tick disease and when he first started trying to hike again he feinted on trail 5 miles out. This guy’s pretty intense. Happy to report he’s doing fine now and of course doing 40 mile days again 🙂 Was very nice to catch up with Mr. Wingnut.

I was hoping I’d get the chance tonight to actually see some stars cowboys camping, but there were a few lingering clouds around. Spent some time out of the tent though since mosquitos have still been quite a bit better!

Audiobook of the Day

Finished “Love Does” by Bob Goff today. I think this was my third time and every read through leaves me feeling inspired. Certainly would recommend to anyone that feels a little aimless or discontent, cynical about issues in the world maybe, or just enjoys good story telling.

This is very much a Christian book. Or at least, the author clearly identifies as a Christian and pretty much every chapter and every story seems to have the intention of offering some insight into living a better way, with Jesus’ love as the key to it all. The thing is, I don’t fit under the Christian label these days. I’d say I’m bouncing around somewhere in the agnostic (that there might be a god or might not, but I have no idea) and atheist (lack of belief in god) range actually.

So why do I still read a book that’s very straightforwardly Christian. Well, simply put, I still get a lot out of it and in fact find myself still reading/listening to several Christian authors. Bob Goff is a favorite of mine because he seems to emphasize the “doing” part of his faith. Living with intentionality. Shane Claiborne is like this too. They both talk about living a different way and offer stories about how that might be done. I resonate with this because talk alone, and studying and focusing solely on what is the right true belief, gets me frustrated (which admittedly I’m quite guilty of). I feel, so much can be summed up in loving through action, hence the book “Love Does.” That seems to cross religions.

All that said, I’m also looking forward to reading some authors that are strong atheists, like Sam Harris and Richard Dawkins. I’d love to explore ideas about different religions too and other ways of thinking and seeing the word, whether that’s philosophy or spiritual practices or whatever. I’m trying to be open and absorb what feels true from a wide range of sources.

In “Love Does,” Bob talks about whimsy and living a life that’s not typical. He talks of pulling off “capers.” I like all that. Some quotes that resonated with me are…

“Perhaps God doesn’t want us spending our time picking sides, or teams and trying on jerseys either. He wants us to pick a fight. And he also wants us to pick him. I want to pick a fight because I want someone else’s suffering to matter more to me. I want to slug it out where I can make a meaningful difference. God says he wants us to battle injustice. To look out for orphans and widows. To give sacrificially and anyone who gets distracted with the minutiae of this point or that opinion is tagged out of the real skirmish. God wants us to get some skin in the game and help make a tangible difference.”

“I’m with you” – Randy. This one doesn’t really mean much on it’s own, but it’s from one of the very first chapters of the book when Bob tells of a guy who just stayed with him when seeing he was about to drop out of highschool and go down a wrong way. He didn’t try to change his mind, he just kept saying, “I’m with you, no matter what.”

“I learned that fully loving and fully living are not only synonymous, but the kind of life that Jesus invited us to be a part of.”

“because that’s the way love rolls. It multiplies… Ryan’s love was audacious. It was whimsical. It was strategic. Most of all, it was contagious.”

Now, I know most of the folks that read these posts are family and friends that are Christians. A lot of you know me well. Some of you have known about my spiritual wanderings and distancing from Christianity and have given me Bibles, or devotionals, or told me you’re going to pray for me.

I respect the whole lot of you and don’t want to diminish anyones faith or beliefs. Rather, by writing all this, I hope to give a little insight to my thought processes. Me not believing certain things or doubting or questioning isn’t because I’m angry or bitter. Maybe some of that led me to where I’m at, but at this point I do way more digging into these matters compared to when I claimed to be a Christian. I think there was a safety there. That’s the culture I lived in West Michigan and most folks just assume that’s what you believe.

I can talk a good game though. I know these are things I’ve said before. Somehow, I manage to just stay in my zone, where I feel comfortable. It’s a pretty selfish thing this hiking business. It does let me do some good thinking and pondering about what direction I want my life to go, though. I’ve been on a bit of a redirection as far as my career (I do plan to work again some day in my life), but always question if maybe there’s more I can do. I love the outdoors and I feel there’s certainly a place for me in the movement to help protect and preserve natural areas. But it all leads back to people.

How do make a tangible difference in people’s lives More and more, I feel it is the everyday encounters and the decisions individual people make.

In The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, Gandalf is asked, Why the Halfling?” He responds, “I don’t know. Saruman believes it is only great power that can hold evil in check. But that is not what I have found. I’ve found it is the small things, everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keeps the darkness at bay. Simple acts of kindness and love. Why Bilbo Baggins? Perhaps it is because I am afraid… and he gives me courage.”

In my life, I’ve been privileged enough to be around some truly amazing people that give their lives to others. They’re do’ers. Folks that give themselves to help others out… the social workers, nurses, folks that give their time. People that use their crafts and abilities. If y’all are out there supporting me or wishing me on or praying for me, may it be that I actually start using the abilities and skills I have in some way to help those around me. May I be one of the do’ers

Album of the Day

“Everywhere” – Tim McGraw

2 thoughts on “CDT Day 74 (ID/MT – W. Yellowstone to Leadore)

  1. I think the “Christian Label” here in the US isn’t a very good label at all. The “church” here in West Michigan and around the country seems to be looking less and less like Christ. I guess I don’t fit in that label either. Peace be with you on your journey, both physical and spiritual!


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