CDT Day 101 (MT – Helena to Augusta)

The Ridge, Nevada, The Tower, and Dave’s

  • CDT Miles: 2,645.9-2,662.6 (16.7)
  • Total Hiked: 1,697.8 miles
  • Elevation Range: 6,380-7,920 feet

It was a classic 7:46am start time. I feel sleep is my best tool to combat the illness out here, so kept with my strategy of waking up naturally. On top of that, I decided to get the caffeine boost right away this morning and enjoyed my vanilla latte supreme whilst packing up. Took a few jaunts over to the cliff edge to view the sunrise as well…

Some of my favorite sunrise photos out here I think. Similar to yesterday, I had some lingering head pressure stuff in the morning. That, and it contained some steep uphills, which I’m learning when combined with the Covid, are my biggest deterrents to hiking at my normal speeds. I don’t really know how to describe it. It’s not like asthma where you just can’t get a breath, it’s more like I feel my lungs working harder. Almost like that feeling I remember when as a kid having been in a chlorinated pool all day. That and a lack of energy in the legs feeling similar to what I had in NM. It’s a duo attack.

All that being said, I feel I’m making too big a deal about all this. Its manageable. I’m out here doing it and each day seems to be better! And, even though the morning’s hike was tough, it was also pretty rad with a rollercoaster ride along some exposed ridgelines.

Here’s looking back. I camped somewhere right on the edge of those steep cliff-like features….

I could see a long ways during this stretch, which is something I particularly like when hiking. If you look close, you see the trail going up a few of the hills ahead…

And then looking back at it all…

After taking this last video, I finally had some more gentle stuff. I was still up high though and getting the views. I was loving it.

Next, I dropped down to where there’s a side trail leading to water. I was out and needed it, but still wasn’t excited about this side trail idea. It was almost a half mile distance and down in elevation a ways to Nevada Creek. I took my pack and everything so as not to leave a feast for a bear. Once down there, I had a snack and filtered. It was a ways to the next source, so a heavy pack on the way back up the hill.

Here’s cruising again…

I took lunch in a shady grove before going out into the open to finish the climb up to the the Granite Butte Lookout Tower. It was pretty neat …

I wasn’t able to go inside, but did go up the stairs and walked the sort to deck path around the building structure. Could see a long ways, which I suppose is the idea, right?

There were about 4 miles left after this to a place called High Divide Outfitters. The comments in our app raved about it and also mentioned there’s camping and a solar shower and a decent resupply. Yesterday, I’d seen these comments and changed my whole plan.

Instead of getting to the upcoming Rogers Pass and hitchhiking into town (Lincoln, MT) to resupply like normal, I figured I could just visit this store that’s basically on the trail and save some time and money and keep my potential interactions with folks to a minimum. I texted Cheer telling of my idea, thinking they would be far ahead and stick to the original plan, but they figured they’d do the same, just maybe not camp, like I proposed.

It was beautiful openness on my way down to the outfitter place. Oh, and I split some wood at the fire tower before moving onward…

As I neared the junction where a shirt side trail led to the store, I spotted a Snickers there! He was just leaving to start hiking again. We chatted from a distance then parted again. At the store I found Cheer hanging outside the place. They’d gotten in for lunch and had been hanging a while. When talking with Snickers it sounded like he might hike solo a bit ahead and we’ll regroup in the next town.

The store owner was named Dave and going forward it seems we started calling this, “Dave’s Place.” I took time checking things out inside and resupplied food to last me a few more days. It was such an interesting setup stocked full of gear and food for hikers and bikers. I’m talking crammed full sort of place. I ended up getting some new odor proof ziplock bags to help with my food storage too.

Cheer and I took off together around 6pm-ish and hiked down to Stemple Pass and then up to our camp near a spring. I guess this is as close as I’ll get to the gateway community of Lincoln. Not sure what facial expression is going on here..

At Dave’s Place, Cheer bought a miniscule coffee mug to start having her hot chocolate beverages in. She was very excited about it…

We had to get creative when collecting water at the trickle flowing spring by camp, using a leaf to funnel the water a bit. After a team bear hang, we were both excited to be in the tents somewhat early (once again for me).

Album of the Day

“X&Y” – Coldplay (2005)

Podcast of the Day

“Heavy Medals” S7 E6-7 (30 For 30 Podcasts)

One thought on “CDT Day 101 (MT – Helena to Augusta)

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