Chief Joseph TH(2389.7) to Darby, MT(2389.7)
0 Miles hiked
Total Miles: 2,105.3
Although today was technically a zero day I have a problem considering it one. Yes, I didn’t hike any trail miles, but I also slept on the trail last night and hiked a mile to the highway to hitch. Since I still had to do all of my town chores it felt like a nero day. I think I’ll call it a nero day. We decided to sleep in a little bit this morning. That would allow traffic to increase on the highway we had to hitch from. I was completely out of food, so I didn’t have to eat breakfast. That was ok by me, it just made room for more town food. We got lucky with our hitch into town. A car drove by use and turned into the rest area close by. He had given us an unclear sign as he drove by. We thought he was coming back after turning into the rest stop, but we weren’t sure. About 10 minutes later he pulled over next to us. We had a ride! Mike lives in Washington, but works in the area as a river guide. He drives out to Montana several times over the summer to work. When he is not on the river he is a stay at home dad. He drove us thirty miles into the town of Darby, MT. He even joined us for breakfast. Breakfast was quite the ordeal. We had been dreaming of town food for days. I had an order of hash browns topped with onions, green chilis, and eggs over easy. Then I added a side of sausage and a piece of frenchbtoast with bananas and a peanut butter caramel sauce. It was everything I had dreamed of and more.
Excited and hungry hikers
After breakfast we said goodbye to Mike. He had a long drive back to Washington ahead of him. We were able to check in to our room around 11:00. While we were waiting we sat in a nice grassy park we planned our next section to Butte, MT. Butte has several different ways into town and those different points change how many miles we need to carry food for. Once that chore was done we checked into our room and took turns showering. We managed to find an affordable room with a kitchenette. After showering we walked around town and finished our resupply. It was a really hot day and walking around town wasn’t very pleasant. Carrying my groceries back to the motel wasn’t very much fun either. I was carrying my trail food, a 2 liter of soda, and a ten pound frozen lasagna. By the time I made it back to the motel my arms were shaking.
There was no public laundry in town so we had to make do with doing our laundry in the sink and bathtub. I was skeptical at first, but I don’t think I have ever gotten my socks so clean using a washing machine. We set our wet closes out in front of our room to dry. I was hoping the motel owners would be mortified by the level of hiker trash going on and offer to let us use their dryer. Within twenty minutes there was a knock on the door. A motel employee offered to hang us a clothesline in the backyard. Not quite a dryer, but this was just as good.
Better than a dryer
We spent the evening in the motel. We cooked a frozen pizza for an appetizer. Then we had the lasagna and garlic bread we have been dreaming of for the last two hundred miles.
Excellent dinner and cheap
Although it wasn’t the most relaxing day we still managed to enjoy our town day. The next few days we will be walking through record breaking temperatures. Let’s hope that there is a lot of water on trail.
“If you are going to be a bear, be a grizzly!”
- George Hyde Preston