July 11, 2017

Miles: 14

PNT mile: 48

Camp: North Fork Hostel (in a tipi!) Polebridge, MT

I didn’t mention it in my tired state last night but there were thunderstorms yesterday evening. The thunder rolled down the valleys, tumbling and echoing for miles, lightning periodocally brightening the sky. We stayed just ahead of the storms and easily managed to stay dry through the night.

It made for wet vegetation along the trail today though…a ‘carwash’ of overgrown plants that constantly wet the legs on passage. It was refreshing as the air remained humid from the storm, but pretty consistent.

We walked about 7 miles along the shore of the lake with little elevation change. A little up and down as we contoured the lake edge. At the head of the lake were picnic tables, trash cans, running water and bathrooms! We had a long luxurious lunch there while drying our tents and ate everything extra we had from the section. We won’t be rolling into town with a lot of extra food which is always good.

The second half of the day was a 7 mile dirt road walk. It was hot and dusty and my blisters were protesting. We sat at a turnout halfway to town when a man in a truck stopped. 

“Need a ride?” He asked

“No thank you, we are just resting,” I replied

“Want a beer?” He offered

“Yes!” We both answered.

He handed us two ice cold cans of IPA which we sat and drank on the side of the road. Ah the life of a thru hiker, where it is completely normal to sit on the side of a dirt road and drink a beer. It must seem pretty out of the ordinary to ordinary folk…but we don’t really have the same idea of ordinary.

The road walk wasn’t my favorite, but we listened to music and got to the adorable town of Polebridge. This is probably my favorite trail town to date…I am completely enamored. The whole town is off the grid and everything is solar powered…therefore we are not able to charge electronics or use our phones, but I love that we just don’t need them here. Keeps the trail real.

The old saloon and mercantile are historic and beautiful, everything old and with a story. Everyone here is so nice and it is just the coolest place ever. You can even see into the park and the backdrop of mountains is exquisite. This is gonna be a fun trail town!

We ran into the other hikers at the saloon where we had excellent drinks and food. I had a cheeseburger and a one of the best salads ever…Pink had a cheeseburger and mac and cheese (so good). After dinner and a couple of beers we are now retiring in our tipi we rented for the night. This is going to be a great night of sleep and I can’t wait to investigate the rumors of great breakfast sandwiches at the bakery. A hikers dream.