CDT mile 2096.1, miles hiked 17.8

Yes, why?

We set off in the dark ready to make it to town and meet our host at the pass.  It was town day and Darby was the destination, both of us were excited and we set off at a good clip with light packs. I packed light on food this stretch so much so that I started running low and had to ration, so for the day after my oatmeal I had 2 bars, gummy bears, a piece of jerky and some nuts, just enough to get me there.

We started to climb, and climb and climb…Montana is like a never-ending uphill with steeps all day.  As the sun rose we stopped to snack and check out mileage, we were making really good time despite getting our butts kicked.  We carried on and in a few miles came to a ridge and the spring.  The spring lay 1/ 4 down a steep hill, we both had water so we figured we would skip it.  So instead of making the water run we laid in the dirt by some trees, ate snacks and joked around.

Relaxing trailside

We hiked for a few more miles and at 5 miles out sent my friend Lee a message to get us in 2 hours.  Before setting off on the final push we first took ten minutes to do our P90X ab ripper, we are dedicated to this each day until the end to lose our bellies.  After that, we were off.  We found a cooler 3 miles down the road in it was some water and a few beers, so we each grabbed a water and beer, sat down and chugged away.  Soon we were at Chief Joseph Pass so we sat and waited for our ride.

A surprisingly good beer

Lee showed up in her VW bus and whisked us down the road to a hot spring resort where we swam and soaked.  She treated us to pizza and beers and we really enjoyed a few hours of water time.  Afterwards, we ran to town to get to the PO but alas they were closed so no worries we grabbed ice cream went to her house and settled in.
Lee is an amazing person, she retired from the forest service and then started her own business Montana Ciderworks, which makes some of the best cider in the world, she even has the awards and medals to prove it.  Her 43-acre property had a trellised orchard with 1200 trees, the Ciderworks and a log cabin home that she and her husband Ed built.  We enjoyed a few hour nap while Lee took care out our laundry, we then woke up and hit town for dinner.

We wrapped up the night hanging with Ed and Lee and getting to know them better.  We talked about hiking, bears and forest fires before rolling up to the loft for a long nights sleep.