CDT Days 77-80 (ID/MT – W. Yellowstone to Leadore)

Off the Grid

So… The battery thing last night posed me a bit of a problem. To recap, I have an Anker 20,000 something-amps brick of a battery pack that I lug around to charge my phone. In town, I plug it in and so far has easily powered every stretch. This being my longest stretch and also not having gotten a full charge in West Yellowstone caused it to run out last night without warning. Luckily, my phone got to 62% battery life, so that’s what I’ve got to work with.

The next day, I put it into “extreme battery saver” mode. That’s an actual thing my phone has that allows me to shut down all apps except the few I choose. I chose my map app as the only one and used it sparingly. Did take a few pics too since that doesn’t take much.

Day 77

  • CDT Miles: 2,143.3-2,166.8 (23.5)
  • Total Hiked: 1,291.6 miles
  • Elevation Range: 7,375-9,105 feet

The morning continued the tough up and down section that other hikers had warned me about as being pointless up and downs (puds). It was so brutal, but I actually enjoyed it. Such a beautiful spot and I often managed to skirt around the very tops of the ups, usually following a faint trail or just going my own way.

This morning stretch kicked my butt and I would end up being quite drained in the evening, making camp a little earlier than normal. Also started seeing more and more southbound hikers, some of which gave me news of a Cheer and Snickers not too far ahead that had told em I was behind trying to catch them. Here’s my few pics…

Day 78

  • CDT Miles: 2,166.8-2,182.5 & 2,192.6-2,198.8 (21.9)
  • Ley Alt.: 6.7 miles
  • Total Hiked: 1,320.2 miles
  • Elevation Range: ?-9,410 feet

I set out and crushed the morning stretch today. Was really feeling it and made about 16 miles before noon or so. Unexpectedly, at my planned lunch stop, Deadman Lake, I discovered two hikers hiding in some shade… Our trio of barking dogs was reunited! To celebrate, we jumped in the icy cold lake. Way colder than I expected actually.

After some joyous tales and catching up, the team told me about an alternate route they were planning to take and we set out. It would end up being a long day trying to cover some miles. We all agreed there was something about this stretch that kicked out butts and getting in the distance each day had been tough. This day we ran into some particularly sucky uphill towards the end of the day. Yet, we trudged forward and got into camp at 8:30pm and in the tent around 9:30-10pm ish.

Another thing of note was the train of sobo’ers today. Must have seen about 15-20 I’d say. Most times it felt like Aragon in the Fellowship of the Ring as we asked for information… “Riders of Rohan! What news from the Mark?” Other times, we’d just pass by because it takes precious time to stop and chat.

Day 79

  • CDT Miles: 2,198.8-2,221.5 (22.7)
  • Total Hiked: 1,342.9 miles
  • Elevation Range: ?

Another long slog of a day going through the steep ups and downs and openness of these mountains. We believe they’re called the Beaverhead Mountains and are within the Bitterroot Range.

Day 80

  • CDT Miles: 2,221.5-2,236.4 (14.9)
  • Total Hiked: 1,357.8 miles
  • Elevation Range: ?10,200 feet

Well folks, with the help of my comrades, I made it to the highway the leads to Leadore! Woohoo! If you haven’t picked up on it yet, the struggle was real. Apart from all the stuff I’ve mentioned about trail conditions, I was way under supplied in the food department and Cheer had to come to my rescue. Also, my shoes have deteriorated exponentially over the last few days and are hanging together by my sewn threads. Never was able to charge my battery since all three of us have different charging cords and such. But, we did it and it was awesome and we now get to rest!

A super nice guy named Randy has started trail angeling around Leadore and brought us into town. Snickers and I sat once again in the back of a pick-up truck flying down the highway.

I missed out on some nice photo and video taking opportunities over the last few days. Gorgeous scenery. Cheer and Snickers got some good ones, so maybe at some point I’ll add theirs in.

2 thoughts on “CDT Days 77-80 (ID/MT – W. Yellowstone to Leadore)

  1. jimnewheights

    As I sit at my computer watching the vacuum scoot around cleaning the floor I read about your journey in the beautiful Montana countryside. Oh how I would love to be in your shoes, or maybe a new pair of shoes. Following the Barking Dogs tramily through blogs and vlogs has been a blast. We follow Old Man and the AT. Energizer is almost finished with the AT. A fact that amazed me is that the AT has the most elevation gain of the the three Triple Crown thru hikes. Energizer is having some issues with trail design and maintenance as well.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Jim, was talking with Snickers today just how fortunate we are to be out here. Feeling lucky and loving being in the moment. Look forward to catching up with you and the California fam again some time!


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