Miles Hiked: 18
Total Milage: 2489.6
Today my friends Dev and Matt who I met on the AT (Henrietta and Herbie) arranged to do some trail magic for me. They were some of my favorite people I met on my first thru hike. Dev has stayed in touch with me a little bit and was super excited when she found out I was hiking the CDT. They live right outside of Glacier National park. What a big deal to have some help right at the end of a long journey from friends I made on another long trail! I was supposed to meet them at Maria’s Pass at 3pm which was only 15 miles from where I was camping. I could easily hike 15 miles by noon but I really wanted to get quite a bit closer to town today. I also really wanted to hang out with Dev and Matt. The best way to do that was by taking an alternate route that involved hiking a different trail to the highway and then walking 7 miles on the road into town. That way I could get closer to town, still meet Dev and Matt and get to hang out with them! There were are so many other hikers around me at the moment and we are all hoping to finish on Labor Day weekend. I’m pretty nervous about the permits for Glacier National Park. Not only are there lots of thru hikers competing for limited spots but I assume it’s one of the busiest weekends for the park in general. Lots of weekend backpackers will want the same campsites as us. I wanted to make sure I was able to get to the Permit office first thing in the morning. Dev and Matt offered to help with that as well. They ended up being a great help since they have also had to get the same permits before as well.
I hiked out of camp in the dark using my phone as a headlamp since I just lost mine a few days ago. Luckily I was following four other hikers who had headlamps and the sun came up within the hour. Once it was daylight I hiked alone for the rest of the day. The others were in a rush to get to town. I absolutely was not in a rush. I wanted to take as much time to get to town as I possibly could. I had told Matt and Dev to pick me up on the side of the road. I didn’t need to get to town today I just needed to be able to do stuff tomorrow. The trail was super flat and through an exposed field for most of the day. I was making lots of noise again to scare off any bears as I hike. When it came time to turn off the CDT on to a different trail, the trail that was listed on the map didn’t really exist. I did some cross country travel across a field until I found a faint old road. I had to go over a wire fence and get to a more defined road. I think I might have ended up on private property and I was a bit worried about it. I tried to get through that part as quickly as I could. I didn’t want to be on private property but I didn’t want to turn around and hike backwards either. Once I was in view of the highway I took a very long break. I made a phone call to Luke during that time.
Eventually I got up and walked to the road and along the shoulder until Matt and Dev pulled over in a car at about 3pm. The shoulder was narrow and the cars were going very fast. I was so glad to be off the road for the day. Dev and Matt greeted e with hugs and a cold drink. The best trail magic. They told me they saw the other hikers on the road and gave them drinks as well. We chatted for a bit and then headed four more miles to town. All the other hikers were outside the Main Street general store. It was an extremely small town on the Black Feet Indian reservation. They were all waiting for the restaurant to open at 5pm. Matt and Dev brought out the ice cream and watermelon to the porch for everyone to share. They went all out on buying things for trail magic at the store. How sweet of them!
After hanging out with everyone, Dev, Matt and I all went to the Lodge to hang out. We got a drink at the bar and enjoyed it on one of the decks. The huckleberry margaritas were incredible. Probably my new favorite drink that I won’t be able to get anywhere except Montana. After drinks, we got some snacks at the Mexican Restaurant called Serranos. It’s actually where Dev and Matt met several years ago. I had a large plate of nachos. We camped together at a local spot that Matt and Dev have spent a lot of time at. I was still hungry so we made some hot dogs for dinner and enjoyed the evening hanging out together. It was a cold night and I had on all my layers well before bedtime.
– Early Bird