Day 147 :Glacier National Park Day 3: St Mary Falls

Miles Hiked: 12

Total Milage: 2544

Today we only have to hike 14 miles to our next camping spot. There is also a way we can take a short cut by fording a river. So we will only have to walk 12 miles! Because of this, I was super lazy this morning and took all the time in the world to hang out at camp. We all did. I didn’t start hiking until 11am. It was hot, exposed, and sunny. I put some sunscreen on my face. The area was still completely burned with no leafy trees to provide shade. A mile into the day, I left the trail to bushwhack down to the river, cross it, and bushwhack to the trail on the other side. Why would I walk two extra miles in a burned area just to avoid getting my feet wet? When I did cross the river, I did it barefoot. On the other side, a ranger asked to see our permits for the first time. He was nice and told us that the only people who take the short cut that we did are the park employees and thru hikers. He thru hiked the PCT in 2010.

I quickly fell behind Legs and Darwin after the first two miles. The trail climbed a small hill and then descended down into a lively green area to follow along a very large lake. The plants were over grown and I was pushing through them all with my trekking poles. Luckily I was surrounded by leafy trees for the rest of the day that provided lots of shade. 12 miles can easily be hiked in four hours. I was hiking at a comfortable pace when I checked for cell service. I was able to talk to Luke for 20 minutes before losing cell service again. I always have way more cell service than I expect. Surprise is better than disappointment so I always assume I will have no cell service. I passed a couple of weekend hikers. Luckily they were on the side of the trail filtering water when I did. I always feel bad asking so many people to pass them.

I had to go to the bathroom really bad. When I got to a very pretty Creek, I was delighted to see a sign that said there was a privy. I was surprised! After walking near the creek more, I realized I was in a popular day hiking destination. There were people everywhere. That explains the surprise toilet. There was a very pretty water fall. I had my picture taken by a group of younger people my age. They asked how long I had been out for. I told them 140+ days. They were absolutely shocked and then continued to ask me all the typical questions. They were really nice and I had nowhere to be so I didn’t mind. As I hiked away from the falls, there were crowds of people everywhere. At first I was frustrated. Then I ran into the group that took my picture. They invited me to have lunch with them because they packed a large group lunch for the day and were going to eat it at the trailhead. Of course I absolutely said yes. I hiked and talked with them the rest of the way. They were a group of friends going to college in Utah who came to Glacier for the holiday weekend. They fed me a Turkey sandwich, a muffin, chips, an apple, and an orange. I was so happy and thankful. What a treat. I assume it’s the last trail magic I’ll get on this trail. I hung out with them for an hour before hiking back to the trail and doing the last four miles to camp. It was 4 pm by the time I got there. It’s crazy how much extra time we have to hang out today. I am throughly enjoying all the extra time to relax and hang out.

Near camp there was a cool suspension bridge and a beautiful creek with crystal clear water. The group of us sat together near the water until it was dusk. I ended up cowboy camping tonight. I checked the weather and it looks perfect for the next few days.

Happy Trails!

-Early Bird

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