CDT Day 76 (ID/MT – W. Yellowstone to Leadore)

Two States for the Price of One

  • CDT Miles: 2,117.1-2,143.3 (26.2)
  • Total Hiked: 1,268.1 miles
  • Elevation Range: 6,645-8,955 feet

After a sound 8 hours of sleep, I was feeling ready to take on the day, hopeful that I wouldn’t be in the same mental funk as yesterday. I slept without my rain fly last night for what seems like the first time since I restarted the trail in June. Cool temperatures overnight because of that and because I camped around 9,000 feet. Having the bear box was super nice… not having to deal with retrieving bags from up in trees and all that.

Once hiking, the trail was quite gentle at first.

It didn’t take long, however, until it began steep up and down and at a few points did pointless treks just to turn around and come back. Got my blood a boiling a bit and it seemed my hopeful outlook for the day wasn’t to be.

Here’s my disgruntled selfie look. What do you think, new cover photo for the dating app?

Maybe not. Not sure if the extreme sweat stains and long-haired wannabe hippie look are in these days. After one particularly stupid section of trail, frustrated, I climbed ahead to a sort of open high point and decided that a much needed early second breakfast was in order.

It was just what I needed. Got my head on straight here overlooking this pretty valley.

There was a cool bumble bee checking out my sweaty pack…

Even had some cell service, which can be a treat a times. This seemed to be a turning point and after break I had a good chunk of easy walking downhill. For a while, I followed right on the Idaho and Montana border, which seemed to be marked by these old fence posts. It’s a nice idea when it’s shallow rolling hills, not when steep and all that.

I was starting to see things opening up and didn’t see any close mountain range that I might be jumping into. It appeared I’d be going down into the valley.

In late morning, I got on a dirt road. There was a sign that read “CDT follows road next 15 miles,” or something to that degree. Its funny, in New Mexico I loathed road and always wanted trail. Now, after getting into some rough trail (and at times, bushwacking), a road walk doesn’t sound all that bad. Some cruising, audiobooking, tunes, a nice reprieve from the wilds for a bit.

All that said, there’s still something about the road that just wears the body down. On the way down to interstate 15, I ran into Hippie Longstocking and chatted. She’s bouncing around some to finish up her triple crown. A few miles afterwards I found a busy highway and a tunnel underneath. This is where I would go in to the town of Lima like most folks, but I’d made the call to just keep pushing onward…

So, I ate all my snacks for the day before lunch today. I’ve been quite ravenous putting in these big days. I have a bag of honey roasted peanuts that I’m rationing to use as a sort of filler snack though, and peanuts pack a pretty good punch. Had some in the shade before exiting the tunnel into more wide open exposed in sun hiking. Some sheep greeted me on the other side…

This is the not the right way y’all… No thru’s allowed!

Now we’re on the right track…

I must have done all that 15 miles of road walk, because around 5-5:30pm-ish, I came to Horse Creek and found two sobo’ers there where trail started again, or at least two track. Chit chatted and got some details about things ahead while filtering. They planned to camp there, but I wanted to get in a little more today.

The food thing has me a little worried and I want to push a little to make my last day of this super stretch a shorter one. That way, present Stevie can eat the snacks I originally planned for that future afternoon. I had packed 6 snacks (granola bars and such) for the each day on top of first breakfast, second breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert. These are my easy grab and eat while hiking snacks. My problem was, and I knew this going into it, but thought they’d suffice, is they’re all 100-ish calorie snacks. Don’t get much bang for your buck with these little ones.

I left the sobo’ers and hiked up a mega hill. Then had dinner (cous cous with tuna. I’ve been trying cold soaking this interesting food lately and liking it as a switch up) a little up the ridge as I watched a herd of elk cross over a barbed wire fence. There were at least 20 I’d say. Then, later on another group of maybe 10 went over the same spot. I was far away, so no pics or vid. But, pretty awesome to see.

I did some serious steep climbing once again at the end of the day. I was warned there’s a pretty tough stretch ahead for the next 4 NM iles or so and it was going to be exposed with little wind or sun protection, not ideal for camping. After putting in a decent end in of day effort, I made camp in a pretty ok flat spot actually. Decided to go for a cowboy camp.

Going up!

While setting up, I made the discovery that my battery pack magically went down to nothing. It seems my gauge must be broken that was reading half full earlier I’m the day.

Albums of the Day

“Please Please Me” and “Rubber Soul” by The Beatles

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