CDT mile 2408.1, miles hiked 33

Benchmark Ranch

When I got up I listened to see if it was still raining, nope. I crawled out and went to retrieve my food bag. I sat in my tent making hot water and packing up, man this routine will soon end and I’ll be able to walk down to my kitchen and get a hot cup of coffee from the coffee pot. One thing you learn to cherish from hiking is the convenience of hot water, out here something as simple as hot water is a chore in itself.

this little guy didn’t make it

We started hiking at first light, after the grizzly last night neither of us was too excited to walk through the woods while it was dark. We made plenty of noise as we descended the trail into the Dearborn River valley. The valley was a deep forest, we made quick time to the river and along its shores. We had to go 33 miles to make benchmark ranch for our resupply so we made sure to stay on track.

We had one climb up over Straight Creek Pass. The sun was out and it was a hot and humid day. My feet have been killing me the past few days. I bought new shoes and insoles in Helena but the insoles I bought were not super feet and suck! I have tons of pain so we have to stop every few miles to give them a rest.

the first glimpse of the Bob

We chatted in the way about hiking and life afterward. Tatu-Jo was telling me the story of the last time he came here. His hiking partner arrived and their box was not at benchmark. Most likely because another hiker had taken it, bad karma but there are some hikers out there that are not the most organized or honest characters. We talked about the remote ranch we were headed to and wondered if there would be a hiker box we could eat extra food from.

We got on the connector trail that followed up Straight Creek and soon stood at the end of a runway. Ye, that is right out here in BFE there is a 6000′ runway for national forest users. Man 6000′ is a really long runway I wonder what kind of rich people fly in here to shoot animals in the fall. We walked up the road to the ranch a good 2-mile affair and when we arrived met the owner who was up working for the evening.

We went to where they keep the hiker boxes on the front porch in a bear box and started looking for our packages. Tatu-Jo found his quickly and I looked high and low, no box. I ran after the owner and told him about my missing box, he came over and looked too but my box was nowhere to be found. He remembered my name but didn’t have his log book with him, I sent Suzy a note and she confirmed speaking with them a week ago and that my box was at the ranch. So that only means one thing, some other hiker went ahead and stole my box of food.

da bob

Now there is many things I can forgive but stealing someone’s food in this remote of a spot is not one of them. I hope whoever stole it got food poison and had a bear nearly eat them in camp. Needless to say it really crapped me out the nearest place for resupply is 30 miles down a gravel road and going there would cost me a day of time.

The owner came out of the building with a box, “this person sent this to us in June and never came for it so go ahead and have it”. It was my friend Wldernessie from New Mexico she has been flipping around and if she hasn’t come yet she isn’t so I cracked it open. In it was a wide array of food between that and the hiker box I scrounged up enough food to get me 135 miles up trail to East Glacier.

Today I was thrown a curve ball but I didn’t have a melt down, instead I stayed calm and sorted out a solution of sorts. The owner was nice enough to fire up the generator for an hour for us to charge our devices, we are sleeping on the front porch of the lodge and even brought us each a beer before leaving.

history of the biggest fire in the region

Well tomorrow starts the Bob Marshall wilderness leg and our 4 1/2 day walk into East Glacier. The trip is winding down but that’s ok after a day like today sitting at home with the family sounds really good.

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