CDT Day 99 (MT – Helana to Augusta)

Making A Go At It

  • CDT Miles: 2,617.5-2,626.9 (9.4)
  • Total Hiked: 1,662.1 miles
  • Elevation Range: 5,690-7,185 feet

After a nice lie in, another tasty hotel breakfast, and your basic lounging around, I felt like I was ready to make a go at hiking out today. It was tough to part with the cozy bed and the non-stop Grey’s Anatomy episodes, but got to try keeping it north, eh?

The ride I’d arranged yesterday said he’d pick up Cheer and Snickers first at their hotel around 11:30-11:45am, so I got ready and checked out to be ready for that. They rolled up, I met our driver Tom (who I found out is a transplant out here from Manistee, Michigan), and loaded my pack into the back of his SUV. I made sure to get all covered up before getting inside…

I chatted briefly with Snickers, catching up and such and hearing how his town stay was, but couldn’t hear much of what Tom and Cheer were chatting about up front since the windows were rolled down. From what I picked up though, this guy’s been doing this for years and he’s the one who stocks the water caches for hikers at two spots near MacDonald Pass. Very cool. When he left us, he was actually going to refill the one to the North, which was perfect because then we could count on it being there.

After parting with Tom, we started getting ready to rock, but off in the distance we observed a hiker coming down the hill behind us. Had a familiar look we all thought.

Sure enough… it was our main man Fix It! We knew he was in the area, but didn’t expect he was going to catch us based on whatever he’d texted. He took what’s called the Big Sky Alternate, which is a route that goes north from Yellowstone rather than the giant loop to the west along the Idaho-Montana border that we took. Sounded pretty neat.

We chatted for maybe 20 to 30 minutes catching up. It was fun to hear some quick stories and just to see a familiar face out here. Then, we hauled on the packs and started for the highway. Fix It had a few options for getting into Helena and he planned to stay for 2 days maybe and research his route ahead. It was a classic 12:53pm start for us today.

Generally speaking it was somewhat gentle rolling hills today. I mean, we did start with about a 1,000 feet elevation climb, but it was a dirt road walk and I just trudged, slow and steady. We had a late lunch and I ate a large sub sandwich I’d packed out from the grocery store. Here’s the pics of our mixed open and forest hike today…

I survived. I think if I tried to do this yesterday it wouldn’t have worked out very well. I guess the 48 hours of resting up did the trick though. That being said, it wasn’t like I was out here in my full 100% hiking shape. Trudging. I used that word earlier and that’s what it was. At times, I felt almost like I was sleepwalking. A little music and some audiobooking did help and we got to a water source just a little after 6:00pm.

Normally we hike a bit later, but I told the others I was stopping here. They were in for it and we found some flat spots to set up. Our tents were in a little tree covered area with some open valleys looking out and forested mountains even further.

Early into my tent and early to bed for me. I’m not setting my alarm and hope to get a full night sleep hoping things will keep looking up out here.

Album of the Day

“Parachutes” – Coldplay (2000)

Audiobook of the Day

Finished “A River Runs Through It” by Norman Maclean

One thought on “CDT Day 99 (MT – Helana to Augusta)

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