Why can’t I sleep on this trail? It’s maddening! I spent half the night trying to get comfortable and tried some focused breathing and even a bit of meditation, but it wasn’t until the wee hours of the morning that I found relief.
After coffee, we packed up and hit the trail. The sunrise was spectacular, and we glimpsed what would be the constant during the day, large rock outcroppings called reefs. I need to look up more about reefs, but what I can tell you is they look spectacular with a bit of snow on them.
We walked a few drainages, climbed a few passes, and by the end of the day were faced with the incredible Hoadley Reef. Wow. We were on an alternate because we didn’t need to go into Benchmark Ranch (a stop some thru-hikers make if they sent a resupply box there), and were happy for the sight. The other side of the pass however (now officially in the Bob Marshall Wilderness!!) was a mish-mash of burned out trail complete with rocky, rutted, unmaintained trail. Ugg. It took us a while to pick the 4 miles down to the valley bottom where we tried to find a flat place to camp that avoided the burned out area (no trees falling on us in the middle of the night please!). Its really not something I like to do, but without any other options, we set up camp on the trail. It was going on 7:30pm, and from the state of the trail, could tell primarily animals use this section, not horses or humans (I promise I try not to ever sleep on the trail…it’s often a wildlife superhighway anyway). To “protect” ourselves we put out branches on either side of our shelters so we would hear any snapping of twigs if something were to walk over it, and I marked my territory with my full bladder (what!? maybe it will have an effect!).
I sure hope for some sleep tonight, we still have 4 1/2 days of 25+ mile days to get to East Glacier…that’s a lot of terrain to cover even with a good nights sleep.