Miles: 29

Camp: My CDT mile 2383

I woke up after a night of relatively rough sleep. Every time I tried to sleep on my side, my knee would hurt…and I frequently rotate to my sides in the night. I was more tired than is normal, but the day got underway without hassle. I moved out of camp first and saw that the guys were getting ready so I knew they wouldn’t be far behind. There were bear prints pretty much everywhere, so I was pretty happy to see Judd come up behind me. We agreed to not hike alone any more as the bear evidence was far too strong to ignore.

We were in areas of mostly dead trees pretty much all day as a strong wind blew all around. The trees swayed, squeaked and whistled in the gusts; one even falling not too far off trail. It was spooky, especially as we kept our eyes peeled for bears. (We never saw one).

We all met up for lunch and then made our way to Benchmark Ranch. Benchmark is a rustic ranch set away from the trail where we sent resupply boxes. The owners hold our boxes for a fee and it was well worth it. We had a very nice couple give us a ride up the side road and they left us with a few beers to drink while we dug through our food. We all sent more than we will need, especially since we have had some plans change. The forecast threatens snow up north and we need to get up there before it gets too much. We have a few days of fairly easy terrain between us and Glacier National Park, so we are trying to get in as many miles as we can to get up there and evaluate the situation. We are looking at days around 30 miles that normally would have been 20-25, but at this point we are running out of options to finish in time. All is looking like it will work out though, we feel good about our plans.

As we left the ranch, rain began to fall. It was very light at first, but became more dramatic as we hiked. We had to make a quick camp in a small valley to block the crazy wind and avoid dead trees…it is tight and uneven, but we are all dry in our tents for the night. This weather was not in the forecast though, so we have no idea what to expect tomorrow. We are ready to face whatever it might be though…We came prepared!

I’m beyond excited to catch up on sleep now, so I bid you goodnight.

Dinner: pasta with green beans, tomatoes, coconut oil, parmesan and other spices. 

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