What a trip! Time and miles are flying by, here are some highlights:
-Since our trail angels Zippers and Amy showered us with amazing food and kindness in Helena we have been back hiking with Tatu Joe and Raisins(Shin), the two guys we started with. They got ahead on the second day, did not see them for nearly 80 days, and now it looks like we will finish with them. Wild!
-Boxes of goodness from friends, new and old in Helena! Thank you all. And Scott, the vegan jerky was simply the best!
-Still no grizzlies but we know they’re here. Today we found loads of scat followed by a stinky moose carcass surrounded by bear crap. We got the hell out of there.
-Yesterday we happened upon a huge pool of fresh blood in the middle of the trail. We checked for Joe’s shoe prints to make sure it wasn’t him (he was ahead), took some pics, and again got out of there quick. Nature is rough!
-Joe fell down a mountain today. He slipped down a steep 20 foot drop, slid perfectly, and amazingly was fine. But he gave us all a scare.
-I fell on my ass two days ago on a slick switchback. I deserved it though as I was in the process of mooning Julie and Shin.
-We had an official reroute in the Bob Marshall wilderness duse to another fire. It wasn’t bad but we unfortunately missed a trail highlight, the Chinese Wall, as a result. This trail is teaching flexibility.
-Our resupply box wasn’t at Benchmark ranch as planned. One of the most remote spots on the trail, tracking number confirmed receipt, and no food.
-Told a guy at the trailhead about it, he asked what we were going to do, I said hitch 30 miles to town to buy food, he gave us his keys and said to be sure to have his truck back by the time he finished hiking four days later. Can you believe this!?!
-Julie is tough as hell. She has been battling shin pain for a couple days to the point of tears but still insists on pressing on. Needless to say, she has earned the guy’s respect (She’s had mine for a long time.)
-We rocked out to the radio today while walking as we had a signal for the first time in nearly a week. We have a fun little group out here.
-If all goes well we should be in Canada on Thursday. We then begin our journey back to Colorado to finish parts two and three of this crazy journey.
We have hiked a lot over the years but never have we encountered as many logistical challenges as we’ve experienced on the CDT. We are learning patience, flexibility, and agility as we solve problem after problem trying to complete all 3000 miles of this trail. We are currently praying for our passports to arrive overnight to a small hotel in the middle of nowhere Montana so we can actually walk into Canada and then get back into the US. Maybe we are finally ready for kids!?!
What an amazing ride. And to think that in less than four weeks, we should be back in Seattle setting up shop, Julie will be looking for a job, and I will be starting nursing school. This life out here is tough but we will miss it when it is over. Thanks again to everyone who has been part of it. This is truly a unique once in a lifetime thing and we are so pleased to have shared it with so many good people.