CDT Day 84 (ID/MT – Leadore to Darby)

Escape From the Haze

  • CDT Miles: 2,282.3-2,306.8 (24.5)
  • Total Hiked: 1,427.7 miles
  • Elevation Range: 7,200-9,695 feet

In case you’re curious about it, yes, we are still indeed traveling back and forth between Idaho and Montana. It’s a state of confusion as our trail angel, Randy, told Cheer the other day.

I slept quite solid overnight and even gave myself an extra 20 minutes to sleep in. Told my fellow hikers I’d was running behind and that I’d catch them, and so they took off at 6:00am and I followed about 20 minutes afterwards. Right away, we were going up. It started out forested, but only fifteen minutes ahead things opened up to a nice sunrise view…

A bit further on, I found the squad soaking it in during a break…

It was nice hiking up in the high elevations. Snickers and I got to chatting while Cheer led up ahead. Today our convo ranged from things after the trail (Snickers has some exciting art exhibition stuff to look forward to) to travel (always a good topic) to the simple fact of how fortunate we are to be out here. Here’s some views during our walk and talk…

There was a section of downhill for a short bit, but then it was back up to a sort of pass the was labeled as “overlook” on our app. We met Ranger and Poles, two sobo’ers on the climb up and then once at the high point, took a break for second breakfast. It was a pretty nice spot…

There was some cell service up there too, so I took a bit to make some texts and other things while I could. Snickers and Cheer moved on ahead and a few minutes later I left to track them down. Pretty awesome area as we traversed down a giant bowl. Saw and heard a Pika (small marmot/big mouse sort of creature that lives up high in rocky areas) as we decended and there was lots of cool clear water, which was nice. No need to carry much.

I took a picture of this tree bark. There are a lot of this type, that have the sort of horizontal dashes. Not sure why it’s that way, just an observation.

Not much further ahead I spotted a bull moose that we’d spooked. Just saw it for a flash, but it just amazes me how big they are. It was forest walking downhill til lunch following this.

After about 13 miles hiking, we took lunch along Pioneer Creek. It was around 1pm and we were happy for a nice shady grove to sit underneath. I even did a quick feet wash, which is always refreshing in these cold streams.

After an hour, we hit the trail again knowing that most of the remaining hike was uphill. Most of that uphill was fairly gradual though, til the end of the day when we had a couple decently steep climb.

I waded across one creek today not knowing I could’ve walked downstream and crossed on a log like Snickers and Cheer did. The trail was quite dusty afterwards and left my shoes full of a thin mud-like layer…

Things also got smokey and hazy again with a few little flakes of ash falling like snow again. You could smell the fire too.

We took a break at the stream above. There was a trail junction and ahead was when thing started getting steeper. Leaving the break, I put on the tunes. Now, I’m not a huge Beyonce fan, not that I don’t like her music or her, just don’t listen to her much despite her greatness. This album was good stuff, seemed like it had every one of her bits crammed into one set, and got me hiking super fast. I didn’t know it when I downloaded, but it was a live album of her headlining Coachella (big music festival I think). The other members of Destiny’s Child even joined and I think Jay-Z too. And it was like 2 hours of music. So yeah, I was pretty pumped… I sort of left the team behind and just made straight for camp. The power of the music was real today.

The haze was getting real too. And gave the sense of gloom and a bit apocalyptic feeling even.

At times though, the sun would shine through and give off some pretty light.

I made good time and arrived at Miners Creek around 6:40pm. We’d talked about camping near here earlier in the day. Thinking the others might not show for a while, I thought I’d try and be nice and filter some water for them. After collecting 5 liters and then going another 0.1 miles further, I found some flatish spots for camp (a comment was left on our app there was an area). I then messaged Cheer using my Garmin Inreach telling where I was setting up and that I got some extra water. Turns out they weren’t far behind and rolled in soon after before my message even went through.

We pitched out tents quickly, had dinner, and hung out food. Getting pretty good at this routine. Happy there weren’t many bugs around and happy to be in the tent by 8:30pm. Gives me enough time to write a little and relax before falling asleep as opposed to just dropping down and snoozing. Hoping the smoke stays clear tomorrow and going forward!

Album of the Day

“Homecoming: The Live Album”

Podcast of the Day

“The Improvement Association – Chap. 3 (Serial)”

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