CDT mile 2133.7, miles hiked 28
Man oh man was the pack heavy when I heaved it on this morning, both Tatu-Jo and I way overpacked food on this leg, so much so we knew we needed to eat all day to lessen the load. We took off and walked through the forest in the dark, we keep an eye out for wildlife but didn’t see anything until twilight. The terrain in front of us in a forest of burned out trees, among them, stood two massive bucks and a doe deer. They couldn’t tell what we were so we watched them for a few minutes then moved on and so did the deer.
The sun started to come up as we walked through an open area due to a massive fire some years back, the small scrubby underbrush and grasses glistens with frost and once again reminded us that fall is coming. Lee and her husband Ed told us that in Montana fire seasons ends September 22, because they always have a snow by then, hope we don’t see it before we are done.
We stopped in the sun to stay warm and got to eating, I had a honeybun, then some bars, a bunch of cookies my folks sent and a sandwich I had packed out. This was only 1 of many food breaks today where I gorged myself. Once we got back to the hiking the trail was easy until we hit a set of blowdowns worthy of Colorado. Since it is the Olympics we had our own set of CDT hurdles to contend with, the going was slow but for once I didn’t get cut up on the darn things.
We soon entered a valley where we filled water for the rest of the day since the next reliable water was over 12 miles. As we climbed up we could see the Annaconda-Pintlers range and it’s very similar to the winds with steep peaks, granite faces, and many lakes. We crossed into the wilderness and less than a 1/4 mile was Surprise Lake a stunner of a high alpine lake with crytsal clear water.
For the rest of the day, we wove our way up and down the divide. The area is a cross of forest and burn areas. The burn areas are ok but I wish I could of seen the thick forest of years back.
Towards the end of the day we spoke about how the hike is wrapping up, and our future plans. Tatu-Jo has a job to return to but I do not. I have been doing a lot of soul searching trying to decide what the next chapter in my life will be, but I guess I’ll let you know when I do. All I have planned now is to get to Canada, do some extra hiking in glacier if weather allows and then go home and see Suzy, Karluk and Rabbit and enjoy home life for awhile.