July 15, 2017
PNT mile: 103.5
Camp: Bluebird Lake, Montana
The sky was comfortably overcast when we woke up to the alarm. The air was cool and there was a considerable lack of bugs. We ate our breakfast of homemade oats and continued the road walk. It stayed real pleasant for the steady climb and my feet felt as good as day 1! I’ve really taken command over the blisters, staying on top of preventative care and there have been only 2 so far. They are painful, but healing.
After we left the road for the trail, we took a quick snack break. Precisely when we sat down it began to rain. It was subtle at first but increased in intensity as we snacked. We were under a tree and not getting wet and we’re and be to gear up for hiking in the rain. I was trying out the new Patagonia rain jacket though it was my feet getting wet. The plants growing over the trail were soaked and treating our legs and feet to the trail car wash. Water was making its way into my waterproof shoes and they were holding on to every drop.
Slosh. Slosh. Slosh.
Every step was more water and more sloshing. I knew from experience that this did not bode well for my feet. If they are soaking in water all day I’ll surely see the return of the blister nightmare. The only problem is that I can’t do anything about it until Eureka. New shoes in Eureka!
It rained all of the way to Foundation Lake where we ran into a hiker named John. We met him briefly in Polebridge, but now we see him in the true hiking elements. We gathered water for the next 10 miles and continued on in the rain up Mt. Wam. The car wash persisted as did the rain and especially the mosquitoes. The rain turned them into fierce bloodthirsty heathens, even more so than usual. They were tenacious! I ended up inhaling a couple to the back of the throat too…things were a bit unpleasant for a while.
Then we summited Mt. Wam and found a nice cabin occupied by a guy named John (not the hiker) and his dog Tufa. He invited us inside for coffee and to warm up and make lunch. We stayed for a long time chatting and watching the storm clear as it moved past us to the distant mountains. To Glacier, 100 miles ago.
Oh yeah, we hit 100 miles today! That’s always a fun moment on trail.
So we finished lunch and hiked out into the clearing day. The terrain was a bit of the usual gain/loss pattern. It is kind of a beating this early in the trail eeally, but I think it will make us strong quickly. We are getting our trail legs back, but it sure is wearing us out.
We had dinner by a stream and a passing shower brought with it a rainbow. What a beautiful setting it all is…and no one else is out here! It is crazy that no one is hiking these trails here. They are all ours and we are loving every minute. Now we are camped by a beautiful alpine lake and my tent is extra cozy after a sloppy wet kind of day. Nothing beats the warmth of bedtime and dry sleeping bags.