Friday, August 9, 2013

Fifth and final state!

But wait!? What happened to the fourth state? For the first part of Montana, the trail crosses into Idaho a few times, but most of the time we never really notice. So I can officially say I'm on my last state!

I'm attempting the blog update from my phone again, fingers crossed it doesn't fail me and frustrate me again!

So I last left off as my Dad dropped me off after Yellowstone. I had a super fun visit, got to explore the park more, and ate lots. Better yet, the wonderful and charming Breeze decided to stay behind and wait for me! So instead of entering into a long section alone, I would have my fearless defender from lions, and tigers, and bears, oh my!!! Oh and someone to hang out in the amazing Winds with!

And the Winds were spectacular! So far, this has been favorite section of the trail. Huge glacial bowls, granite peaks, and endless lakes and meadows. This is a pace I want to come back to.

By the time we finished this leg, we were awed by the mountains again, and really, really, REALLY hungry. For the last two days of the section I had to ration Breeze's food so he wouldn't run out. He didn't trust himself to not eat it. Really hungry. I even busted him trying to sneak food behind my back. But we survived! And when we got to Dubois, we ate our hearts out.

We were hanging around town getting the last of our chores done when we ran into Green Flash. We did some laundry together then went off to grab a bite to eat. Our first and second choices for lunch were a no-go, so we wandered into a bar for burgers. Oops. One drink led to another, and the guys started playing pool while I sorted Yellowstone permits. Due to scheduling in the park, we had to pick a slow pace, so we ended up getting an extra night in town! We even wrangled a sobo hiker for the night and swapped stories.

Once we managed to leave town the next day, we were loaded down with tons of delicious food, including over half an apple pie,  and Breeze and I were strolling along with Green Flash. The hiking was super easy, and the trail sees lots of use in this area. We ran into another hiker, Pat Burglar, that the guys know, and we ended up camping with him all the way through Yellowstone. We built fires, took naps, and really enjoyed camping again! And on our longest day in the park, 28 miles, we still snagged an insta-hitch from a 2012 PCT hiker that brought us to the store for booze and hot dogs, and got us back to the trail pronto!

Yellowstone's backcountry was awesome. Geysers and vents dotted the ground next to the trail, and we found a perfect spot to soak in a river near the run off. We quickly learned that we needed to agitate the water constantly or risk getting burned by the scorching hot surface water! But it sure felt good!

We walked through Old Faithful, and commandeered a table in the fancy lodge from which we ran logistics. We were able to watch about 4 eruptions over the course of the afternoon. We elected to walk the longer "Henry's Lake" route in the section to avoid a lot of road walking and to hit up the town of West Yellowstone for food and beds. And that's exactly where I'm at right now! The final push is under way, and I'm enjoying every minute! :)

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