I can't believe I've been on trail for a month already!! My one month trailiversary was epic- breaking records and getting incredible views with incredible people. The two people I've been hiking with, Cotton and Spacemaker, took some extra time getting out of camp that morning, so we weren't hiking until 6:45am but still were able to get 10x10 (10 miles by 10am) even with over 1200' of vertical climbing! We kept pushing and climbing and eventually hit the highest point on trail in this particular section- over 9700' elevation- and could see for miles and miles. It was absolutely breathtaking, in all the ways. Looking around, we could see where we had hiked from and where we were going, a smoke plume from a fresh wildfire, and some ominous-looking clouds headed right for us.
We decided to stay on trail despite being at a very high elevation, but to just hike as quickly as possible and try to outrun the storm. As the rain began and the wind whipped around us, we moved swiftly over rocky outcroppings and between skeletal trees charred by lightning from previous storms. I thought about how most people would be afraid in this situation, but I just felt so alive. Life is meant to be LIVED, to be spent challenging ourselves and experiencing as much as possible. I got through the storm, exhilarated, and powered to an off-trail spring where I filled up my water and camped next to a meadow. This ended up being our highest mileage day on trail so far, clocking in at 29 miles. I am blown away by how much my body is capable of doing and how much it can recover in one night.
Month One Stats
Days on Trail: 31 Miles Hiked: 586.5 Number of Showers: 4 Times my Laundry has Been Done: 3 Days of Rest (Zero miles!): 3 Nights Spent in a Bed: 3 Nights Spent Camping Alone: 2 Times I've Fallen: 8 Number of Bears Seen: 2 Times I've Hitchhiked: 6 Shortest Full Hiking Day: 9.7 miles Longest Full Hiking Day: 29.0 miles Average Daily Mileage: 20.9 miles
It hasn't all been epic vistas and fields of wildflowers, but this first month certainly has been incredible. I'll be finishing the Montana-Idaho border section soon and then heading into Wyoming and Yellowstone National Park!
As I continued hiking, I took more notice of the hundreds of cut trees that lay along the side of the trail. I thought about the hands that may have cut them and the many hours spent keeping this trail clear. I have so much gratitude for the employees and volunteers who work so hard to maintain this trail while keeping our wild land wild.
Sometimes you find a beautiful spot but your tent doesn't quite fit. In this case, I just couldn't pass it up and wedged my tent in anyway. This beautiful lake in the Winds was such a treat. I even had a weekender out with his family come and visit for a bit, some welcome social time after a number of days hiking alone.
After hiking through Glacier National Park, the Bob Marshall Wilderness, the Pintler Wilderness, Yellowstone National Park, the Wind River range and countless other breathtaking locations with epic vistas and natural wonders, many CDT hikers dread "the basin" in southern Wyoming. I had been hearing about it for hundreds of miles, with lots of fearmongering on...