Daily Miles: 16
2021 CDT Total Miles: 352
Overall CDT Total Miles: 2425
While it was really warm when we went to sleep, by the time we woke up in the morning it had gotten really cold. We figured it would be a warm night since we were camped at a pretty low elevation. It seems like around 3am is when the temperature falls…before that we were sweating in our sleeping bags.
The hiking today was so pleasant and easy. We had a nice climb in the morning over a short pass. It was just the right amount of climbing to warm us up.
For most of the day we walked through burned forest. A sign at the end of the trail today described the fire that came through in 1988 and burned nearly a quarter of a million acres. We were surprised the fire had burned so long ago, because in most areas it seemed like there was nearly no tree re-growth. There was, however, a sea of wildflowers through the valley which seem to come in after a wildfire.
This morning we met three hikers going southbound on the CDT. No Trace and Unbreakable are hiking their remaining miles on the CDT (East Glacier to Helena) in order to complete the Triple Crown. Tenacity had several starts to a southbound CDT hike this summer, but seemed to be getting in the groove. The group was really fun to talk with and they also had some good trail intel on the section coming up after Augusta.
We talked with them for about 20 minutes and then continued on down the trail. About nine miles in, we got on an alternate to finish up the day. Other hikers had mentioned that the true CDT trail in this part has a lot of downed trees, but that this parallel trail was clear and nice.
We took the alternate along Straight Creek and it was indeed a really nice trail…mostly flat or with a slight downward slope. A lot of the trail was lined on both sides with thimbleberry plants and we stopped to pick berries whenever we saw ripe ones. It definitely slowed our progress, but we weren’t in a hurry and it was totally worth it.
Before leaving Lincoln, we had scheduled with a local guy to pick us up at the trailhead today. We weren’t sure how early we could finish and we knew there was no cell service for the last day and half, so we told him 5:30pm just to give us a good buffer. We ended up finishing around 3:30pm, so now we just get to wait for our ride to show up. Not a big deal since we can just relax in the shade. We’re looking forward to getting into Augusta and having a rest day tomorrow.