July 14, 2017

Miles: 16

PNT mile: 96.8

We have been on trail for a week already! It’s finally starting to feel natural again. I think starting in the national park made me feel less like thru hiking and more like going on a trip. Now we are out on our own and it feels more like home. 

This hike is also different in so many ways, partly because I’ve done this before. I have so much more in my toolbox than when I started thru hiking in 2014. It is fun to see how quickly I can solve problems now, how it takes so much more than it used to to set me back. I know what I’m doing. I am stronger each time. I am strong.

I am strong and this trail is tough. There is a lot of elevation gain and loss in short periods of time, just to regain it later. It makes me feel good to work hard to achieve my goals, it is hard, but it feels good. There is also the constant knowledge that grizzly bears live here too, they can be around any corner or sniffing out your food at night. It can be stressful if I dwell on it…which I sometimes do.

I didn’t take a lot of pictures today, though I should have. I had many moments where I stood looking out at seas of peaks, the wind blowing just right. It was only the mountains and me for brief moments, brief and blissful moments. Moments locked in time. 

At any rate it has been a long 3 days. We have been hiking pretty decent miles and working hard for them. We hiked part of the Whitefish Divide to Mt. Locke at 7250 ft., mountains in every direction as you follow the ridge that has mostly steep but sometimes graded trails. We lost about 3000 ft of elevation after lunch and we are in a river valley tonight. Tomorrow we gain back the elevation and decide on our first alternate. It’s going to be another great day!