CDT Day 90 (MT – Darby to Anaconda)

Hikin’ Most Our Lives in Pintlers’ Paradise

  • CDT Miles: 2,390.1-2,410.5 (20.4)
  • Total Hiked: 1,531.4 miles
  • Elevation Range: 7,410-9,100 feet

“Well, I have been searching all of my days. All of my days. Many a road, you know, I’ve been walking on. All of my days. And I’ve been tryna find, what’s been in my mind. As the days keep turning into night” – Alexi Murdoch (“All My Days”)

Last night I decided to move my alarm back a half hour or so. I ended up hearing the others packing up before it went off in the morning, but still got a few more minutes of sleep than normal. They left around 6:05am and I was 15 mins. behind them.

We continued where we left off last night, climbing upwards through a burned area with many a fallen down dead tree across the trail. Had some sunrise views…

There was unexpectedly some smoke again, but mainly off in the valley away from us. Since Darby, it seems we’ve pretty much left the smoke from the Moose Fire behind.

It wasn’t too long before I caught up to the squad… found them about the same time we got out of the previously closed section due to a fire last year. Seemed like the downed trees improved after that.

We had cell service at different times leading up to second breakfast and Snickers and I had a few missions we were dealing with. For me, it was calling dentists in our next resupply town of Anaconda. My tooth doesn’t seem to be improving and so I’m keeping a fairly steady regimen of ibuprofen to numb the pain. That does the trick for the time being, but I need to get it checked out.

A while back, during the stretch when I went on my solo red line expedition, Snickers had left his prescription sunglasses. He’s smart though and put his contact info. on his case. This morning he got a text from Wow, the hiker we’d met from Tasmania, saying he’d found them. A joyous celebration was had, but it was short lived. Sadly, after checking inside, it appeared the glasses had been taken. Frustrating and sad to think someone would take them, especially when he’d labeled them so clearly. Not giving up, Snickers has sent some messages out on the CDT class of 2022 Facebook page, so a slim hope still exists.

Breakfast was had about 9am-ish at a nice shaded spot along trail. I now have my awesome blue cup again thanks to brother Abram and mother Sheryl who sent me thst package to Darby. I’ve been enjoying an instant coffee/Vanilla Carnation Breakfast Essentials brew…

Today was a lot of up and down. Some gradual, some not so gradual. Some burned stuff, some really lush stuff. Some rocky. Some flower-filled. All around, a spectacular day of scenery, but tough too.

All that was post-second breakfast and pre-lunch. On the way, Snickers must have stopped when he got cell service again and I didn’t see him, so the whole time I thought he was ahead of me. I got down to a small creek at 1:15pm and thought he’d kept cruising on, but a few minutes later both he and cheer showed up and we had lunch there. I soaked my feet too, which was lovely.

Leaving lunch, we had about a mile of downhill and then it was up to Pintler Pass. Things were starting to get real rad as we neared the 9,000 feet elevation range again. Snickers had left lunch first and we only caught up to him just before the top. He led us right up there to an amazing view.

The last one’s the view from the pass looking ahead. We had a snack break and then continued down the other side. The trail actually went right down to that green open space meadow. After that it meandered further down through a dark shaded and spider web filled forest to Johnson Lake.

At Johnson Lakes I took one look at it and then started prepping for a swim. Beautifully clear water and the bottom looked sandy-ish even. Snickers followed suit, but Cheer opted for a simple wade. Very refreshing. There was a big family group down there celebrating someone’s birthday. We know because there was one of those signs that has each letter strung out spelling “Happy Birthday.”

Leaving the lake we knew we had one last big climb for the day up to Rainbow Pass. Pretty grueling, but we crushed it. Check out these views during the climb…

I couldn’t get over the neat angled look these rocks had!

Nearing the top , and then going through the pass…

I always get so pumped up when up high and getting the views! Definitely a motivator for me and energy boost to help during the climb. Once Snickers showed up and was taking a break, I decided to climb up above the pass with no pack and just my trekking poles. Amazing!

Something about this valley and the thickness of the forest down below was very striking. Uniquely vast feeling.

The last bit of the day was switch-backing down to Rainbow Lake…

We’d spotted a campfire going from across the lake in the spot we were hoping to camp, but thankfully there was a side trail leading further around the lake to more spots. The local Anacondian campers didn’t mind us passing through, probably.

It was a beautiful camp and the cherry on top to a spectacular day of hiking! We’ve been loving the Pintler Range.

Albums of the Day

“Stinson Beach Sessions” – The Head And The Heart

Top Gun Motion Picture Soundtrack

One thought on “CDT Day 90 (MT – Darby to Anaconda)

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