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Begins: Aug 6, 2019
Date: Sat, Sep 14th, 2019
Trip Distance: 64.0
Entry Visits: 31
Journal Visits: 3,004
Guestbook Views: 44
Guestbook Entrys: 12
Poia Lake to Elisabeth Lake for 10 miles
1900’ net gain
While today’s hike was short, it was eventful! Last night a moose visited our campsite and the hook prints were just 50’ from my tent! The morning hike along the lake towards Red Gap Pass was windy making small waves at the shore. The trail worked its way up the contour towards the pass. Within 500’ of the pass the wind became strong and then gusts came that knocked me off balance. Twice I was down on all fours bracing against the gusts. Near the top I sat down to shoot a video because I was afraid of getting knocked over bu the wind. The wind almost knocked my phone right from my hands.
On the Elisabeth lake side, the wind was worse and more consistent. I found myself walking in a crouch, bracing with my down hill pole with each step. Several tumes I just stopped and braced on all fours. The harsh wind lasted for about 1000’ from the top and going was slow. At each switchback the wind would hit you from a different direction adding to the effort. When I got out of the harsh wind it was a relief!
I was going to walk up the valley to the Ptarmigan Tunnel, but there dark clouds hanging over the valley that was giving me rain. Plus, I would have had to climb back up into the wind and that would have been a bad decision. Down here at Elisabeth Lake the wind is gusting at 20-30 mph. I have a secluded campsite so I should be protected tonight. The wind never stopped last night and I doubt it will tonight.
This is my last night on the trail as I walk out the Belly River trail to Chief Mountain and the Canadian border tomorrow. The end of these trips are always sad for me. I will miss the wilderness that has been my home for the last 39 days. I have had more great views than one deserves and I’m grateful. I’ve met and hiked with some great folks who I’ll never forget. I’ll miss the: sunrises and sets over the mountains, watching the clouds form as the day progresses, the clear blue mornings, the wildlife who hosted me, the long shadows of the morning, seeing distances greater than I can imagine, guessing where the trail will go, meeting people kind enough to give me a ride, feeling the tiredness and strength in my body and continuing to hike, gaining confidence with each situation I’m challenged with, the feeling of hot water in town, motel heat, Glacier National Park’s back country, and receiving kind words from my wife in my resupply boxes.
The things I won’t miss are few: muddy trails, the W word or wind, while the rain was tiring, I think enduring it gave me confidence!
Until the next adventure!
Jim's Nobo CDT Journey
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