I woke in the early morning to go the bathroom and saw stars out, the storm had passed! I made coffee and packed up, making my way to the main lodge by about 6:30 to start the last few miles of my highway walk before I headed up to the trail.
It was a cold morning and I was all bundled up. There wern’t too many cars on the road, and it turned out to only be a little over two miles I had to walk to get onto Brooks Lake road…I played a few new podcasts that had come recommended from Buck 30 and Treeboo…Lore, Welcome to Nightvale, Nerdist.
I got to the lake and noted all the signs warning of grizzly in the area, they sure know how to scare you, and probably for good reason, there were plenty of tracks in the mud as I walked north on the trail.
At one point I look behind me to see a figure in black walking up and it turned out to be Scatman…it would be nice to have company through this bear territory, even if for a little bit.
We talked and talked and the miles, while full of ups and downs, went fairly smoothly until we took lunch at a creek and upon packing up I noticed we were 1.6 miles off trail. Doh! Somehow we missed a trail junction.
Bushwhacking back, we found the trail again, and made sure not to get off again. Most of these junctions are not marked and you really have to pay attention to each turn.
The mountains around here are craggy and sharp, and the cold of the morning finally seemed to dissapate in the bluer sky of the afternoon.
Scatman is a fast hiker, but I decided to keep pace with him…he’s got a permit for a campsite in Yellowstone tomorrow, but I only have to do 23 to camp outside the park border in order to day hike to Grants Village inside the park. I haven’t arranged for a permit ahead of time so I can’t camp legally inside the park, but I can legally day hike, and that means a 27 mile day after tomorrow. Anyway, so this would probably be my one day to hike with him before we both go our separate ways.
It was a long day, and by the time we found a spot to camp it was 8:30. Tired!