Day 126: The smoke comes rolling in

Miles Hiked: 22.3

Total Milage: 2195.7

Today I took my sweet sweet time leaving camp. I didn’t get up until 7am. 12 pack left way before me while I took my time stretching. I was in no hurry at all today. Since we crushed miles the last two days we only planned to hike 22 miles today. Since I have all day to do it I was moving slow and in no rush at all. The day started with a long 7 mile climb. I listened to music and ate gummy bears the whole way up. At the top I took a break and called Luke. It’s so nice to have cell service on the trail! I could see a view of Butte for most of the day. It looks like they have some sort of giant mining operation on one side of the town. It looks like a whole mountain was removed.

The day was hot and dry once again. I caught up to 12 pack and we took our next break together at a water source. It was early afternoon and we were only 9 miles from our planned camping spot. Time to kill time! I made some PB and J sandwiches and enjoyed just sitting down on the side of the trail doing nothing. I washed my feet in the cold stream and also soaked my sun hoodie and let it lay out to dry. After that I hiked 3 more miles to the last water source of the day at a small stream. I cooked some mashed potatoes for dinner and took another one hour break. There were about five more miles left to camp. I noticed the smoke was very bad as I ascended a small mountain to camp. It’s probably the worst smoke I’ve seen since we started. It was thick and I could hardly make out the mountain ridge closest to me. I kept hiking until I ran into some NOBOs at a trail junction. It was Shepherd, Ohm, and Carrot. They just got back on the actual CDT at this point from their reroute they did around the fire. A lot of other hikers took a route called the Big Sky/Super Butte alternate that is about 200 miles shorter than the actual CDT that 12 pack and I hiked. Even with skipping the road walk we still walked a significantly farther distance. I’m so happy to see hikers again! After we flip flopped so many pros were about 1-2 week behind us. Since we slowed down a bit and also hiked an extra 200 miles a lot of people are finally at the same spot as us. I’m so happy. I haven’t enjoyed only seeing the person I’m hiking with very much. I’m thankful I had someone to hike with but I’d rather be alone sometimes than only see a single person. I missed the social aspect of the trail so much. I stopped and chatted with them while 12 pack caught up. We walked one more mile and set up our tents at a nice flat spot.

Happy Trails!

– Early Bird

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