Fishtrap Creek(2445.9) to Deep Creek Rd(2482.9) 37 Miles
Total Miles: 2198.5
Elevation: 6,112 feet
Today felt like three distinct and separate days. I was up late last night watching the meteor shower. When I got up this morning I felt fresh and ready to go. I was quick packing up and left camp before Piñata and Straws. I knew the first part of the day was going to be difficult. I had four 1,300+ climbs and descents ahead of me. I actually enjoy starting the day off with a big climb. I knocked the first one out quickly. I managed to keep up a 3 mph pace the entire time. I was bummed out that I didn’t get a view from the top. The downhill wasn’t too bad. It took me into a nice little valley with lots of green water plants. Just before the second uphill I passed by Warren Lake. The water was so still the surrounding terrain was reflected on the surface. I decided that it was a great place to take a quick break.
I really had to conserve my food today. I cut my calorie intake by half. We are rationing food so we can hike an extra day and half to get into town from a different location than we had originally planned on. The town of Butte, MT has four different locations we can get to town from. We had planned on going in from the first point, but this leaves a longer food carry into Helena, MT. We decided to try and go in from the second entrance, but that means stretching our food longer and hiking a few extra miles each day. I was already tight on food, but I think I can manage. The second climb of the morning also went smoothly. My legs were feeling really strong today and I was in a better place mentally. The downhill was very well behaved as well. There weren’t as many rocks and roots trying to trip me up. As I was collecting water, Enigma caught up to me. I was surprised to see him because I thought he was a full day behind us. It turns out that his friend canceled on him and he left town only a few hours behind us. Just before I started on the third climb, Piñata and Straws caught up as well. The third climb was the hardest of the day. I gained about 1,600 feet of elevation. My legs were starting to feel the strain of the day. By noon I had already gained close to 4,500 feet of elevation. Somehow I managed to keep my pace up. I was rewarded with spectacular views and cell service at the top.
Anaconda-Pintler Wilderness has been awesome
Great view and cell service
The last climb almost did me in. It was another hot day and my legs were beat. I made it to the top, but slightly slower than I would have liked. The good news was the climbing part of the day was over. The bad news was it was all downhill from here. Climbing is tough on my lungs, but going downhill hurts my body. I actually enjoyed the first few miles of the down. The next six miles I didn’t enjoy at all. My knees and back felt like they were on fire. Also the lack of calories was really beginning to take a toll.
View from the last climb
Beautiful blue lake on the way down
I gritted my teeth and pushed through the pain. The plan was to stop at a free campground 27 miles into the day. We would stop there to cook dinner and then hike a few more miles before setting up camp. The day went faster than we thought it would. We got to the campground at 5:15. By the time we cooked, ate, and relaxed a little it was still really early. We all drank some caffeine before heading out. A decision had been made... it was time for me to hike a big mile day. Most of the people I have been hiking with lately have already done a 37-40 mile day. I never have and today seemed like s perfect opportunity. The miles after the campground were flat and on dirt, gravel, and paved roads. We could easily get in another ten miles before it got dark. The roads allowed us to stick together and we talked and laughed almost the whole time.
Late evening hike
Cruising along the road into the sunset
All smiles for hiking my biggest day yet
I also realized that I have hiked over 2,189.2 miles in 121 days. The Appalachian Trail was 2,189.2 miles when I hiked it in 2015, I think it took me 160ish days to complete it. Today was full of cool milestones. I’m hoping this good attitude and breaking through this mental wall continues until Canada. It is late and there is a meteor shower again tonight. So, good night and here’s hoping for s good tomorrow.
“Descriptions of inner, spiritual processes are much more liable to misunderstanding than descriptions of events in the physical world. Such misunderstandings arise easily because the life of the soul is in constant movement and because we fail to bear in mind that the life of the soul is very different from life in the physical world.”
- Rudolf Steiner