CDT mile 1728.7, miles hiked 12.8

Fresh Grizzly tracks on trail, still haven’t seen a bear

We woke up a bit later since we only had to go about 12 miles.  It was cold and some frost was on the meadow plants in the opening by us.  We packed up and went to the core camp to get our food bags and cook breakfast.  By the time we were all done and ready to go it was nearly 7:30.

The three of us walked as fast as we could to get warm, about 45 minutes in We met two SOBO’s named Steady and Hamburger.  Both are Triple Crowners and both did the Butte super cutoff when they hiked the CDT so they were out seeing the official trail.

Hamburger was from Germany and the Germans did their thing for some time.  After all of us decided we needed to move to get warm we were off.  We hiked along Heart Lake a beauty of a lake and met another SOBO named Tugboat who had an 85lb pack, he told us he carried 20 days of food, insane.  After seeing him we walked through a meadow with hot springs and there came to Witch Creek.  The creek was about 105*F so of cours, I took a nice long half hour soak.

Heart Lake

From there we climbed a small mountain and then dropped down to the highway.  I got there first and started hitching to Grant Village.  A car turned back around to get me and the driver and his son were AT alumni, they fed me chips and soda and dropped me at the store.  It was my moms 70th birthday today so before I went in I sat down in a rocking chair on the porch and called her.  She was shocked to hear from me as she assumed I was in the woods but we caught up and chatted about her special day and the trail.  I wish I could have been there with her but maybe this fall I’ll be able to find my way east to see her.

A large thermal off trail feeds Witch Creek

Cheezy, Johnny and I spent the next few hours eating, doing laundry, showering and finding our camp spot.  While doing the laundry Johnny went back to camp to deal with his blisters so Cheezy and I sat down and had a gut check.

She told me her and Johnny want to do the Butte super cutoff which misses about 300 miles of the CDT.  It’s a route others have taken but not one I am interested in at this point.  So the only issue is she has to move forward is the lacks of info on the route.  She has toyed around with this option since northern Colorado but never taken the time in town to research it.  So they have no maps, GPS etc…. We went up the hill and called my friend Beaker who had done this route a couple of years ago, he had some basic info but that was it.

So we talked some more and pretty much decided the plan would be to get to Old Faithful where they would try to get the info online.  From there I’ll hike out alone and continue on my way to Lima and eventually Canada.  It’s strange that in two weeks I have gone from hiking with a core group of three and sometimes four to now basically being alone.

We did see Hotshot and Polar Bear in Grant Village and enjoyed a nice Asian meal at the lake house.  These two woman kick ass and are hiking the CDT solo so I figure if they can do it, I should be able to, then again women are stronger than men in many ways.  My biggest fear isn’t being eaten by a bear but just being a bit lonely.  I do enjoy others company so hopefully, some folks will catch me and I’ll only be alone for a short while.

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