Day 131: MacDonald Pass

Miles Hiked: 18.3

Total Milage: 2271.7

Today I woke up to a chilly morning. My tent was still wet but I’m happy that it didn’t rain overnight. 12 pack and I were going to start packing up at 5am but he had a headache so we waited another hour. I was glad because I had time to get my food bag and take my time eating before doing anything else. I had some crackers, cheese, and salami to start the day along with tuna salad on crackers. We left camp around 6:15am. Everything was wet and dreary but I thought it made everything look pretty despite the cold. I love the way that the neon yellow looking moss stands out against the cold wet tree bark. Someone told me that the neon yellow moss is actually an invasive plant of some sort but I haven’t looked into it. I got water from a stream I could hear off the side of the trail. It wasn’t marked on Guthook but every single dry and unreliable source was… of course.

The trail eventually lead to some dirt roads that I walked on for quite a while. I passed a logging operation that I could actually hear going on very early in the morning. I thought it was a chain saw but it was some machine that strips trees of their branches. All the logs and debris were put into giant piles. When I had to pass the machines and people doing the work, they were right in the middle of the road. I’m glad they saw me and stopped as I walked by because they were big and intimidating, not to mention very noisy. Right before the roads turned onto a trail, I found s cooler of trail magic. A welcome surprise. A couple who has a daughter hiking the PCT this year put it out. I had a sprite and an orange. I was so happy they put fresh fruit in there. It’s been the #1 thing I’ve been craving lately. It was delicious. I signed the log book that was included before moving on. The trail went through a lot of blown down trees. It looked like a lot of trail work had been done but there was still a good amount of trees to step over which slowed me down a lot. I was just feeling very tired today and a little antsy to be done hiking. I finally reached the road around 3pm. 12 pack and I tried hitch hiking for about 40 minutes before someone pulled over for us at the busy highway. A nice gentleman going into Helena took us all the way to our hotel.

We stayed at the budget inn in downtown Helena. It was close to everything and very hiker friendly. Our room was provided by 12 Packs family which was very nice! I received a package from my best friends in the whole world, Nate and Teresa 🙂 I can’t wait to see them when I go home to visit Ohio. They sent me one of the nicest cards I’ve ever gotten on trail. Honestly my favorite part of care packages is getting a note with them! I wish it was common to send letters in the mail more often. Sometimes those words of encouragement when I’m feeling sad and alone in town help me so much! I couldn’t get over all the nice food they sent me. I am absolutely spoiled by them. They sent me so many different kinds of freeze dried mountain house meals, Couscous, and lots of healthy protein snacks. Not only that, but they found one of my favorite snacks I had no idea you could even get in a can … Dolmades! Otherwise known as grape leaves. It’s a greek appetizer that is a grape leaf stuffed with rice and some other things. Weird, but it’s one of my favorite foods and I couldn’t believe I got to have it in Helena. They actually sent me so much good food I ended up forwarding half of it to myself in Augusta. I’m excited to get that box again! I saved half the Dolmades for that town too.

Once I got all my food, I went to get a falafel salad from pita pit down the street. I relaxed and made a call to one of my friends while I was eating. Melon got to Helena today as well so we hung out with him before getting dinner at a brewery. 12 packs sister Ashley sent us money to go out to dinner. 12 pack got a giant salad and I caved and got some macaroni since I already had a salad earlier. It was delicious. Afterwards, we walked to get ice cream at the Big Dipper. I got a two scoop waffle cone. It was probably the best ice cream I’ve had on trail. Just the fact that it was two big scoops in a waffle cone made me smile. Before going to bed I got to talk to Luke on the phone.

Happy Trails!

-Early Bird

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