West of Tepee Mountain(2254.5) to West of Bannock Pass(2268.7) 14.3 Miles
Total Miles: 1984.3
Elevation: 8,112 feet
Today was finally town day! I think we have been looking forward to today since we left town four days ago. This was not my least favorite section of the trail, but it was close. Straws, Piñata, and I decided to get started earlier than usual. We had thirteen miles to hike before getting to Bannock Pass/HWY 29. I was really looking forward to town food, shower, and laundry in that exact order. We had one big climb to start the day. The temperature really dropped throughout the night. It was really chilly this morning. I started off hiking in my rain jacket. I thought by the time my three mile climb was done with I would have taken my jacket off, but it stayed on for the entire climb.
I stopped halfway up the climb to grab water from the last source before town. I managed to get a full seven hours of sleep in last night and I felt great this morning. Everything always seems easier when there is a town at the end. Highway 29 wasn’t much of a highway. In reality it is just a 14 mile dirt road that connects to the town of Leadore, ID. Apparently lead and ore were mined here a long time ago. The area used to have a major stagecoach route, before a railway line was built. When the railroad closed down, most of the mining stopped and the town went under. Today there are less than 100 residents living there. I knew that there wouldn’t be any traffic driving by so I used my Garmin InReach personal locator beacon to arrange a shuttle to pick us up. For $20 the owner of the only motel in town came and picked us up at the pass. Within thirty minutes we were sitting in a restaurant eating lunch.
Yet another ridge on the Continental Divide that I walked
Ham bacon cheese burger. Some of the best fries I’ve ever had. Idaho really does have famous potatoes
Before getting to town we had already decided to make this an in and out town stop. This is the first time on the cdt that I have done this. There wasn’t a good reason to stay in town. There wasn’t much to do, the only motel in town was $70/night and only had 4 rooms. I had a resupply box in town, which made for an easy resupply. We were able to do laundry and shower for $10. We showered at an RV park and the owner of the hotel/shuttle driver let us use his washer and dryer for $5. We stayed in town just long enough to call home, eat, resupply, take a shower, do laundry, and most importantly charge our electronics. We were all done and ready to go by 5:30. We had to pay another $20 to get back to the trailhead. We could have camped at the hotel, but that would have been another $10. By leaving town today we can get started on trail at our usual time. We won’t lose any time. We packed out a sub for dinner and an airplane bottle of Seagrams 7 whiskey. We even managed to hike another mile today. Dinner was a festive event. We were all stoked that we managed to get in and out of town in the same day. Grasshopper, Snake Farm, Anchor, Iceman, and Cattywampus were in town as well. Nobody seemed to believe that we weren’t going to stay the night in town. Hikers do in and outs all the tome so I’m not sure what the big deal was. We wanted to save a little bit of money and get back on trail early.
Early dinner on trail
We all packed extra food for the next 4.5 days. Our hunger has been out of control. My 4.5 days of food feels like a 7 day carry. I ate a few extra things tonight trying to get my pack weight down. I couldn’t eat too much extra or I might come up short. It is definitely a delicate balance. I’m really hoping that this section is nicer than the last. I do know that every mile I hike puts me one mile closer to Canada and Glacier National Park. Less than 30 days to go!
“For all your days be prepared, and meet them ever alike. When you are the anvil, bear - when you are the hammer, strike.”
- Edwin Markham