So yesterday my hike was officially longer than my PCT hike at 2,663 miles. I’ve never known how many miles I would end up hiking, there are so many alternates, long cuts, short cuts, and so forth, but it looks like I’ll make it just over 2,700. It’s all good; the AT took me 5 months and 2 days at 2,175 miles, the PCT 5 months exactly at 2,663 miles, and the CDT, 5 months and 6 days at 2,7XX miles…just wait and see!
But this is my last full day on the trail. Tomorrow I’ll head back to East Glacier and Summit Lodge for the Hiker Hoopla, a party given by the Montana Trails folks for CDT hikers and supporters (what a great way to finish a trail…with a party!), and then will get a ride back up to Many Glacier, where Mountain Spice and I are camped tonight) the next day to hike 2 half days to Canada and meet Kirk! I’m actually more excited to see Kirk than to finish the CDT, I guess that’s good, right??🙂
Today we woke to a clear sky and walked off the chill of the morning to St. Mary, a reroute to avoid some burned trail we heard wouldn’t be opened up at all again this season. Atlas, Mountain Spice and I hightailed it to a cafe my friend Sage had told me about, but it was closed, so we backtracked to another cafe we saw…closed! Went next door, closed (well at least for the next hour until it was lunch time) and finally walked up the hill to the one and only open cafe in the little berg. Everything is shutting down before our eyes for the season. Sucks for the hikers behind us, even less will be open!
BUT we had a delicious breakfast and practically licked our plates. It was late when we finally got back to the trail, but the climb up to Piegon pass was incredible, and we heard reports of Grizzlies on the trail. Sure enough I saw my first grizzs! Ok, they were black dots on the mountainside, but still, it counts!
On the other side we encountered snow (always the snow) and made our way down a million switchbacks and came across a big horned sheep…what a day for animals! Waterfalls and lovely trail lay before us and our path to Many Glacier, another little development with lodge, restaurant, store, and developed campground.
We found a spot at the primarily car camping site for the hiker/bikers, and once we realized the italian restaurant was still open decided to wander over there just in case we found something interesting for dinner. Yep, pasta, wine, and cheesecake later, we navigated our way back to the campsite. Tomorrow: my last 0 day of the trail and the Hiker Hoopla, a Partay to celebrate the end of the hike!!!