Aug 24 2016 / Day 127
We woke up this morning alongside a dirt road just out of sight of the cars passing by. I think we were on public land, but we really weren’t too sure. It was a chilly morning with a flat road that would lead us into civilization. We ran into Brazil Nut, who is a woman originally from Brazil who currently resides in Boston. She has already completed her triple crown of thru hiking and is beginning the journey of a second triple crown by doing all of the trails southbound. She was hoping to be the first woman to complete this feat, but recently learned that the famous Yogi of Yogi’s Guidebook is completing her last sections of the CDT to complete her double triple crown. I knew before Virginia on the Appalachian Trail that I would complete the triple crown, but I have no desire to earn it twice. Yes, I love all three of the trails for various reasons, but I know there are so many other places to explore and visit. Life is so short and I want to see as much as I can if the time that I choose to continue hiking. I do have a confession though… Paperweight will need to hike the PCT to earn his triple crown and I am 90% sure I’d join him unless life happens first. Anyways we parted ways with Brazil Nut and met a few local people walking the road that told us the increased the length of the CDT way into Canada. Funny people! But the locals know what we are doing for a change which is nice. We stopped to pick up a new pair of shoes in my drop box at Mack’s End. It is a very small town with a cute post office. I picked up new shoes, food, a new backup charger from Anker since mine isn’t working right, new Darn Tough socks thanks to their lifetime guarantee, and a pair of warm sleep pants. Chipmunk joined us at the post office and three of us made our way towards Sawtelle Resort. We stopped at a gas station for them to enjoy warm coffee and a cold coke for me. We also bought some breakfast and relaxed here for a while. We slowly made our way to the actual resort walking near the highway on a dirt road. We paid to do our laundry and shower in their facilities. It was a great stop as we were able to use their wifi, clean up, and reorganize our gear. We had a late lunch at the China Grill which recently opened in town. I can never pass up Chinese and it was delicious. My only regret was ordering one meal instead of two. Chipmunk and Paperweight are nervous about the cold weather we are having and they both purchased new gear. I decided to hold off as I haven’t been too cold yet. We slowly made our way out of town following a paved the jeep road uphill with a packed Subway sandwich for dinner. I tuned into Podcasts to distract me from the cars and noise of the road. I have really enjoyed listening to The Stuff You Missed in History Class’s podcast. We finally hit a dirt road and began winding up a mountain as a couple of a 4 wheeler zipped by. The sun began to set and it was getting cold quickly. We didn’t want to climb too high due to the temperature, but finding a campsite isn’t always easy. We had to dip down off of the trail at least 200 feet to a flat spot near a game trail and after we set up a huge elk ran by. Luckily, we were a bit off of the game trail. We ate our Subway sandwiches as the sun sat. I’m feeling like I’ve hiked over 2,000 miles now for sure. Bedtime is a highlight of my day and I have been missing the luxuries of town life more and more each day.
We got started early, but it was so cold. I would guess it was in the high 20s last night. We began hiking uphill and found Chipmunk still in her tent around 9am as she explained it was too cold to move. The trail is a common cut off so it is bushwhacking with lots of burs. You follow a dry creek bed that turns into a stream. It was not as bad as I had expected since quite a few hikers have already been through this year. The trail reconnects by a lake to the official CDT. We took a break at a stream as the sun was shining expecting to see Chipmunk, but she never showed. We came to a big sign telling us about the Sheep Experiment that takes place on the land. We did not come across as any sheep as we assumed they have rounded up already due to the cold. We joined an old mining road that gave us splendid views and easy walks along the ridge. We hurried along trying to get in as many miles as possible. The trail dipped down then climbed back up. The Guthook App told us that we were off trail and we realized it had been rerouted to avoid an additional dip down to just go back up. We heard a common sound and looked down the hill to see a huge herd of over 60 elk below us. The wildlife never ceases to amaze me. We camped in trees as it was getting dark and did our chores quickly. I am happy to have someone to share my tent and time with as this could be a very lonely trail.
We were on a mission this morning to get to the interstate and into the town of Lima, Montana. We were hiking in Idaho today, but the closet town is in Montana. We hurried along joining a dirt road and passing a few people out boon docking on state land. We also had the pleasure of following a scared herd of cows trying to run away from us. They sure are silly animals. We took a break at a nice CDTA sign in a remote spot alongside lots of cow manure. We snacked a bit then made the rush into town on the dirt road. We called the owner of the one hotel in Lima to come pick us up at the interstate. He told us to jump the barbed wire fence and wait on the side of the interstate. It didn’t take too long for him to arrive and drive us back to the hotel. Our room had a full kitchen, couch, comfortable bed, and was a great price for what it had to offer. He is trying to sell his business and I would buy it in a second if I had the funds. We did our chores and went to one of the two restaurants in town. I had a delicious burger and we resupplied at the little gas station store that was so overpriced as expected. Chipmunk arrived a few hours later and took the room next door to us. It was an easy day of lounging and rest for the body in a nice place.
This morning Chipmunk came over and cooked breakfast for us. We had bought eggs, sausage, cheese, and English muffins! It was a great feast as we saved a few dollars by not eating out. I tried to convince them to take a zero and to my surprise it worked. The deal was we would bake a cake in the oven to snack on. It turned out to be a wonderful zero. I recommend them in small towns when everything is less than .2 away. We had another burger for lunch. Us girls baked a cake and the owner gave us a dozen eggs from a local farmer to use. We even made a few hard boiled eggs to munch on. The cake was delicious and we joked it was Paperweight’s early birthday cake. It was a lazy day that was much needed.