Tag Archives: continentaldividetrail

The last days of Northern Montana

Thunderstorms have been rolling in afternoons, hot & muggy – but watching the rain on the horizon from the ridge is magical.
Things u find on trail – live ammo. Ground score?
Sharing the trail with the bovines. Near Dana spring after a 20 mike dry stretch…
I dunno why they call them butterflies… all I ever see them eat are thistle and turds 💩
Met a nice young fella named Gator – he’s already 1500 miles in having hiked the Idaho Centennial Trail & connected to the CDT southbound via the Pacific Northwest Trail. Iz pleasant to have some company for a few days. Ridge walking into Helena…

The Bob

The Bob Marshall Wilderness is the fifth largest wilderness area in the lower 48, consisting of over 1 million acres of forests and over 1000 miles of hiking and stock trails. Its awesome 😎

There’s a lot of burn out there – nice to see the forest regeneration.
Dean Lake. Harpo & I camped here in 2016 dodging a storm. I managed to take a dip before the rain & thunder started as I made my way up Switchback pass. Always swim…
Lunch with the boys, by which I mean 1000 mosquitoes. The bugs are fierce and the size of hummingbirds. Ah! The joys of wilderness backpacking!
Chinese Wall looking epic
Good morning Bob!
Trail junction in the Bob. U should abandon the illusion of dry feet ever again ye who enter here…
And there are some flowers too… 😉

Harpo’s CDT Journal: #14


Aug 26

26 miles
Today we hike in trees again! lovely, cool trees. The social interactions in Rawlins and our angel visit have rejuvenated me. The morning passes easily. 
Around midday we pass a huge backpack by a log. So huge, I don’t notice at first there is a person attached. Here we meet Tugboat, a 52 year old retired firefighter who started in Glacier on June 1st, trudging thru snow with an 80 lb pack. Tugboat is old school and didn’t know about the hiking culture which allows for hitching to town every 3-7 days for more food. Therefore he’s carried 21 days of food at a time, as well as his slingshot, pistol and pole so he can hunt, fish and grill game along the way. Amazing. A dude who really can survive the apocalypse. I am so impressed. Now that he’s realized he can go into towns he’s about 20 lbs lighter and much happier. And hella ripped. 
Groucho and I pass him and take a different alternate, but I feel happy knowing he’s out here. 
At dusk it starts to rain and we pitch our tarp for the first time in days. There are actual trees to pitch between!! We are almost to Colorado. 


Aug 27

26 miles
This morning we see Curtis (hiker) and Sable (dog) who we met in Lander. They hiked out a day earlier than us from Lander but our ride from the Rawlins angel helped us catch up. Curtis is admittedly lonely since his lady friend had to get off trail for work. We happily hike with these buds. 
Around 11am we reach the Boarder of WY and CO!! 
Then a nice leisurely walk into the hills and short mountains. Curtis gets ahead in the afternoon but we catch up at the dinner break and I let him know that, tho he is faster than us, he’s welcome to hike with us if it would be good for his spirit I know it will be good for mine. 


A few hours before dusk we begin a long descent into meadow. Then a long burn area. We pass up several sites because of so many snags (dead trees). Finally Curtis chooses a meadow and though it isn’t perfect, we submit. There aren’t any dead trees for about 40 feet in any direction. 

Aug 28

27 miles
At midnight a huge cracking sound and an earthquake-like shudder in the ground wakes me. Lighting? “What was that?!” I ask. Groucho replies… “A tree fell.” A big tree. Very close.  I count my lucky stars and try to fall asleep again but it is hella cold and damp in the meadow. 
We wake with frost frozen on our sleeping bags. 
Today we enjoy a 3500 feet climb over 10 miles. I feel weak and tired. Altitude? 
It’s the beginning of bow season and all day long we pass happy hunters decked in camo or hunter orange with bows slung over their shoulders. 
There is so much dead forest here because of pine beetle kill that we can’t help but sleep amongst some snags. It’s barely worth it as all night I feel awake. Staring at a sillouttte of a snag hanging over our heads. And by 4am hunters start tromping by our site. I need to get me some hunter orange gear lest I be mistaken for an elk or deer. 


Aug 29

19 miles
Im so excited to get to town! The morning passes quickly passing many hunters and day hikers and lakes. It’s almost all downhill. 
I do a movie-length retelling of Little Women and suddenly (2 hours later) we are at the trailhead! 2 lovely day hikers are parked and offer us a ride to Steamboat Springs. We accept and stay at the awesome Rabbit Ears Motel, across from the PO and natural food store. Sooooooo many vegan snacks. 

Harpo’s CDT Journal: #11

Aug 17, 18, 19Zeros
The exhaustion and calorie restrictions caused by the wind River Range, now require us to take 3 zeros in a row. I suppose that’s what we get for not taking a day off in a whole month. We’re around 1000 miles into our hike. 
We arrive in Lander and I realize I haven’t looked in a mirror in almost 2 weeks. I don’t recognize this person. I look and feel dirty, depleted and gaunt. I shower, launder and give myself a bang trim with my mini Swiss army knife. 


Then I try to gain weight. Over three days I will eat caramel corn, hummus, chips, bean dip, sandwiches, wraps, pizza, more pizza, waffle fries, again with the waffle fries, coconut chocolate milk, bread sticks, bananas, peaches, salad, more salad, more salad, and many Luna bars. 
I begin to feel normal ish. 
Our hotel room is ridiculously spacious. We spread out over 2 queen sized beds and air out our gear, clean and repair things, ice our knees and feet. 
I also practice talking to other humans again. My first attempts are runaway train style. And I realize how lonely I’ve felt out here in our stretch since we left Helena. I turn on my phone and dash off dozens of text missives to friends back home. 
The teevee offers an impressive array of 80’s hits including Beverly Hills cop and Full House. 
Lander is a charming town with a great bar/restaurant, outfitters, groceries, a Post Office, thrift store, coffee shops and a yoga studio. We take yoga and feel great. And now, finally, it’s time to get back on trail.