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Begins: Jun 20, 2014
Date: Mon, Jul 7th, 2014
Trip Distance: 51.0
Entry Visits: 684
Journal Visits: 31,531
Guestbook Views: 3,358
Guestbook Entrys: 27
Last Day - last hike for the year
Started pretty good today with hot cereal for breakfast and on we go. The day before had some sections with serious blowdowns-we talking clumps of 3-6 trees down in one bunch. Try hiking thru an area like that, over and over for an hour or two. I was hoping today the trail would be established and free from piles of blowdowns.
Went from dirt Sandy road to "trail" and back and forth, nothing anyone who can use map, compass n GPS can't handle. Started to see nice Vistas although just more forest covered hills. Different from yesterday: WATER EVERYWHERE. No need to carry water. This is a good example to carry a "life Straw". When you need a drink pull it out and draw water thru it directly to your mouth from mother nature herself. I think this another of the fine Sawyer products.
I finally came down off the trail for the road walks up to the trail over Bison Mtn. About lunch time another SOBO caught up with me. James, and he had hiked the entire trail from the Canadian border. Young guy, in his twenties and one step for my two. He felt he might be able to catch up to the only hiker ahead of him. Some hikers find this important. I felt during the hike to go as efficiently as I could and if that meant no finish this season I'd finish it next year. More on that later.
James was following the Ley maps whereas I was following the Bear Creek maps. I have nothing but good to say of the Bear Creek maps with their corresponding waypoints (if you use gps). I had Ley maps for each section also but found myself using BC alone. Other hikers said Leyland was better? How so? I always found the route, found water, enjoyed fantastic scenery, while knowing I was on the official trail. SO soon James and I parted ways but it would have happened sooner rather then later due to his quick pace (Oh, to be young again!).
At any rate using BC maps fortified me for the private land owner confrontation, though it never happened. Now I had a land owner follow me at a distance in his truck while I was road walking. That lasted for about two hours on an afternoon. Another rancher stopped his work and I got the evil eye until out of sight. However, by far the land owners and ranchers I met were generous and very friendly.
I had been having trouble with my feet, arthritic left hip and back. During the day I could keep the back and hip to a dull roar with my medications. My feet have problems and last year I had had a toe amputated. At night they, along with the feet would get their revenge. This though my med was a pain killer. Usually, about 2:30 a.m. they would all settle down and I could get some rest. The hip had me in agony some nights.
I had made a dumb stupid mistake because I just knew I had them - of checking my supply of Batts for my Oregon 450 gps unit. This instrument worked flawlessly throughout my hike. On the way up Bison Mtn it all came crashing down. I don't wish to bore you with my troubles so let's just say I made the decision to get off the trail.
Started back down and when I finally hit the spot where the CDT had met the road-I kept to the road. By my calculations this gravel road came out onto Hwy. 12. That highway led to Helena. The next day at about 7:30 a.m. I received a ride all the way to Helena from that gravel road-now-turned-paved. This happened about a mile from Hwy 12, I had come down pretty fast. A hiker learns one thing among many while we prefer a trail, one can make real good time on a road.
Once in Helena I made preparations to return home and am on the way. I wish to thank all of you who read this log for your support. To those who wrote and sent gifts and goodies, thank you so much. I had an incredible experience and will never forget the CDT. A wistfullness will always be there for the beautiful quiet, the glory of the cathedral, unparalled times of reflection and prayer, the satisfying clear water brook, the singing wind and falling rain. Young men and women, come. Come now for the experience of a lifetime.
July 7, 2014
SunnyWalker's CDT Walk
"Something hidden, go and find it. Go, and look behind the Ranges. Something lost behind the Ranges. Lost and waiting for you . . . Go! (Rudyard Kipling). Please visit SunnyWalker.net
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