Daily Miles: 14
2021 CDT Total Miles: 146
Overall CDT Total Miles: 2216
Our time in Butte was just what we needed…we all got to relax and be off our feet for awhile and Mace got to eat a bunch of food and regain his strength. While we were not excited about the idea of carrying six days of food in our packs, we felt rejuvenated and ready to get back on the trail.
Our Trail Angel, Dane, picked us up at the hotel this morning and we all went out for breakfast. We throughly stuffed ourselves, which wasn’t the best move (we never seem to learn that lesson), but the food was really good. We stopped by the post office to mail out a resupply box and then Dane brought us back to the trail.
We started walking around 9:30am and knew that we had 8 miles of uphill ahead of us. That’s where the big breakfast became a bad idea. Luckily we were able to just keep plugging away and finally our bellies started to settle down.
The trail continued to be very well made and well maintained. The trails around Butte have certainly spoiled us. We saw several day hikers out, but mostly we had the trail to ourselves.
It was overcast as we started hiking and we got a few sprinkles, but not much. Then the skies cleared and it looked like it was going to be a nice afternoon. The overcast skies were nice as we climbed, because it kept the temperature down.
We ran into two southbound CDT hikers, One Day and Jen. One Day had injured her ankle earlier on the trail, so they were behind schedule. They figured that they were the last southbound CDT hikers, but we’ll see…there almost always seems to be people hiking later than you’d expect.
The trail came very close to a statue you can see from town called Our Lady of the Mountain. From town it looks like it is made of marble, but Mace (who hiked right up to the stature about two weeks ago) said it looked more like metal when one was right up at it. It is a pretty cool feature, and it was fun to keep seeing her pop into view when the trail would turn.
Shortly after passing the statue, the trail seemed to change. No longer did we have the nice gentle switchbacks with perfectly maintained trails. Instead, we were back on more “typical” CDT trail, with short and steep ups/downs. It was funny how we all noticed the change right away.
In the late afternoon, the sky darkened up again and we could hear the thunder. When the rain started, we decided to just set up camp. It was only 4:30pm, but we figured we could easily make up some miles in the next few days.
It took us a bit to find a place to camp, as there were a lot of standing, dead trees in the area. We found a reasonable spot, although we are about 100 yards from Mace. It was nice to get our tarps up so we could start to dry off and warm up a bit. It rained for over an hour, but seems to have let up. Now we can emerge from our tarps to hang our bear bags.