CDT Days 117-119: It Might be August, but it’s Cold in Montana

Day 117: 10 Miles

We slept in this morning, knowing there would be no cars to try and hitch a ride with very early. Waiting for a ride, we saw Enigma headed back to the trail, and will try and catch up with him in the next couple days. We got a ride into town and nearly got into a wreck, but we all made it unscathed. We got more bad news today-Waterton is closed. That means the official trail to the border is closed, and we’ll have to take the alternate. At least there is an alternate to take, but it’s still disappointing. We had an uneventful drive back up to the trail and were hiking again by early afternoon.

The alternate through the Bob Marshall Wilderness is a scenic walk generally following a creek. With the easy miles, we did a few riddles while we walked.

Because we’re off the official maps, it’s hard to know exactly how many miles we’ve done, so we just have to estimate for a few days.

Day 118: 30 Miles

It rained a little bit through the night, and we stayed in our shelters longer than usual this morning until it finally stopped. We walked and talked and did a few riddles before we realized we had gone off trail, something we’ve been doing a lot lately. At least we got some nice views.

Back on trail, it stayed cold and wet for most of the day. About lunchtime, we came up on a ranger cabin which was actually in use at the time. The ranger had a fire going and a pot of coffee, and we invaded the place to eat lunch in a warm dry area.

It was hard to leave, but eventually we moved on, continuing along the creek and eventually rejoining with the official CDT and setting up camp as low as possible in an effort to find the warmest campsite we could.

Day 119: 32 Miles

It didn’t rain in the night, at least where we were camped, but it was still a cold and wet morning.

We passed a trail crew who had snow all day yesterday and some last night, so we were glad to have been on a lower elevation alternate yesterday and camped at low elevation last night. The sun peeked out once or twice but never really lasted long. Fall colors are becoming more evident every day.

Both today and yesterday we’ve had to ford a lot of streams, so we’ve had wet feet all day on top of the cold. Still, we got some really nice views today and the hiking wasn’t too hard either.

We made it to another ranger cabin at the end of the day today. The cabin was locked up, but we took advantage of the picnic table and water spigot and sheltered front porch. It’s still cold, but the weather seems to be clearing.