Canada!!!

Day 130     9/6/17   16 miles

So last night, before going back to the trail, a bunch of us went out to eat at the Mexican place in town and I have to say it wasn’t the best burrito I’ve ever had. The portions were good but then they covered it in like velveeta cheese or something, it was weird. I was talking to a couple there and the guy was a retired firefighter from Ohio. When I explained to them what we were up to he left the tip on our meal so that was cool. Thanks Tom! After supper QB and I hitched back to Marias Pass, where we got off trail earlier in the day, and found a spot in the woods to camp. 

This morning we got up and started cruising right into town. We crossed rt 2 and some railroad tracks and got into Glacier NP but since our permits don’t start until tomorrow night we’ll be walking back into East Glacier Village and spending the night there. From Marias Pass the trail kind of parallels the road and the tracks all the way to town. There wasn’t anything too spectacular to see from trail, or maybe there was, it was just too smoky to see  much of anything. About a mile from town I saw and heard a small dark brown bear crashing through the woods 15-20 feet to my right. It scared the bejesuses out of me but I recovered quickly. Once again QB didn’t see it but she did hear it. Current bear score 12-2 in my favor. We got to town and ate a couple times at the Two Medicine Grill, which I recommend.  I did laundry and showered for the first time in a week and got a room half off at the Circle R motel because it didn’t have a TV. Fine with me, I feel like hotel TV’s only play Forensic Files anyway. Smoky!Ran into Recalculating in town and he’s become quite feral since I first met him in New Mexico, his shoes look like they got struck by lightning This license plate has my name on itMe and QB and some tall guy 

Day 131     9/7     25 miles

Right away this morning QB and I devoured a huge breakfast at the Two Medicine Grill; omelettes, pancakes, hash browns, even a slice of pie. After breakfast we got back on trail and into Glacier NP starting with a nice stiff climb up to Scenic Point. For a while we walked with Recalculating, who unlike most thru hikers has a wife and 4 young kids at home, pretty awesome situation but not the norm out here. Glacier has been incredible so far, even with a blanket of smoke from the wildfires hanging in the air. I’d love to see this place on clear bluebird days so that’s why I’ll definitely have to come back. The smoke however, puts a whole new paint job on things and makes the mountains and the lakes look really cool. I’ll let the pictures below speak for themselves. Plus I saw a bunch of animals, a moose laying around in the grass and probably about 25 bighorn sheep including a little baby. We’re camping at the Atlantic Creek site and also camping here tonight are Garbelly and Critter who we’ve been keeping in touch with but haven’t seen since Winter Park.A couple of bros just chilling out

Day 132     9/8     25 miles

Today was the day! We hiked with Critter and Garbelly for most of the day and started off with a steep climb up to Triple Divide Pass. Although smoky, this was one of the most incredible passes I’ve ever been up and over. There’s three sides to Triple Divide Peak (just to the West of where we crossed); any water that lands on the west flows to the Pacific, water landing on the east flows to the Atlantic and water landing on the north flows to the Arctic Ocean. So cool! While climbing up the Pass, Critter spotted a moose down in the valley from at least a half mile away, then we had a bighorn sheep directly in front of us on trail and on our way down we saw 4 mountain goats way up on the side of a steep wall. The rest of the day the trail was pretty relaxed but there was lots of water. We stopped to jump off rocks into an awesome swimming hole at Red Eagle Creek. In the afternoon we walked along Lake St Mary which was tough to get a good view of because it was super smoky but it’s obviously a spectacular sight. I got another chance to swim at the bottom of Virginia Falls then we stopped again at St Mary Falls. Because of the wildfire situation, QB and I weren’t able to get our backcountry permits so tonight we had to hitch to Rising Sun CG where we’re camping at the hiker walk-in site. Ideally we wanted to camp in the backcountry for our last couple nights on trail but it’s no big deal, I’m just glad the park is still open and I really hope it stays that way. This campground has a restaurant and we were able to get some good food, plus a couple guys that were eating there recognized that we were thru hiking and bought us dessert. Garbelly and Critter walking through the smokeTriple Divide Pass Cannonball!!!posing so hard Triple Divide Pass Swam where the mountain dolphins live St Mary Falls 

Day 133     9/9     14 miles

Before leaving Rising Sun we grabbed some sweet potato pancakes at the restaurant. It’s so tough to pass up a good meal when it’s close by. We had a short 14 mile day until the next campground so we weren’t in a hurry. Once on trail we climbed way up to Piegan Pass and the views were just awesome. I know I said yesterday that Triple Divide Pass might have been the most impressive pass I ever climbed but that title only stood for a day. Today the smoke had cleared some and we had some better views. It really was amazing. It was super windy on the way down but that probably helped get some of the smoke out of the area. We could see cascading waterfalls, aquamarine lakes, and jagged peaks all over. After we got down to the valley it was a relaxing 5 or 6 miles into Many Glacier, another front country campground with a store and restaurant. There’s lots of other thru hikers here tonight also. Garbelly and Critter, Maine Man, Flip Flop, Liam and Kate, Spindrift and James all are camping here and planning to finish tomorrow. A bunch of us went to supper tonight and it was a lot of fun. It’s weird, I felt like there weren’t many hikers around for most of the trail but I’ve seen lots throughout Montana and especially the last couple hundred miles. They say nothing brings people together like a common enemy, like the school kids rallying together against the lunch lady. In this case it’s the wildfires causing the thru hikers to bunch up right at the end. Queen B. MacklemorePiegan PassSwiftcurrent Lake 

Day 134     9/10/17     20 miles

What a day! First of all last night was crazy windy, all night long blowing wicked loud. Even with my earplugs in I hardly slept and it seemed like everybody had the same problem. Even with minimal sleep everybody was still pretty jacked up for our last day. We set off with a big crew of hikers; Garbelly, Critter, Flip Flop, Liam and Kate. From Many Glacier we climbed up to Ptarmigan Pass that has a tunnel going 150 feet blasted through the Pass. It was awesome! We all chilled out up there for awhile enjoying the view, then went through to the other side and the trail down was absolutely spectacular! I can’t believe somebody decided to build a trail and this tunnel up here. We walked half a dozen more miles before coming across Dawn Mist Falls and took the little side trail to it. This was the last highlight of the trail and my last opportunity to jump into freezing cold water so of course I did. After the falls it was only 6 or 7 miles until the road and the border crossing at Chief Mountain. We crossed the border, did the damn thing, got our passports stamped, and took a bunch of pictures by the monument. From the border our friend had rides up to Calgary and QB and I hitched south. We got a fun ride from Ina, Karen, and Jules (an AT long distance hiker herself) back to East Glacier. There are lots of hikers in town and after pigging out at the restaurant we hung out with all them out front.  Breaking camp on our last morning Pride Rock?Ptarmigan PtunnelWalking out of the tunnelQB, Garbelly and Critter at Dawn Mist Falls Dawn Mist Falls A bunch of kids walking to CanadaThis trail was overwhelmingly dudes, it’s cool that we finished with 3 women; QB, Critter and Kate

Over the course of 134 days I walked roughly 2800 miles from one imaginary line to another (QB had her total mileage at 2795, I’ll go through my journals later but that seems acurate). The trail was significantly harder than I thought it would be, but also more incredible than I could have ever imagined. Finishing the trail hasn’t exactly sunk in yet and I’m sure it will take a while to digest. I’ll have it forever and I will look back fondly at this summer on the CDT. The fact that there are so few hikers on the trail makes for a  tighter knit community. Probably like going to a small high school or something. I met some great people out here that I look forward to seeing again. Oh yeah, I will definitely be back here too. The CDT introduced me to so many great places that I definitely plan to explore more.

 I have so much gratitude for everybody who helped me get through this trail; trail angels, folks who gave me rides, people who took me in and fed me or gave me a place to crash for a night, friends who came out to hike with me, all the support I’ve got from this blog and encouragement from friends following my hike online (it holds me accountable in a way, a good way, and provides motivation to finish this grueling hike). Thank you to my parents and family for their continued love and support and especially to my hiking partner Queen B who made this summer so much fun and without her, I would not have made it.

-Endless

PS All My Love!!! And thanks for reading 

PPS from East Glacier we are catching a train to Seattle and hiking for a few more weeks. The train should be fun, I don’t think I’ve ever taken anything longer than the commuter rail from Lynn to Boston. Originally we planned on hiking the last 350 miles of the PCT so QB could finish her triple crown but due to fires might have to come up with an alternative plan. Stay tuned there should be more posts in the next few weeks. And seriously thanks for reading, it has been a pleasure writing this blog and I appreciate the feedback I’ve got. If you want to see different pictures feel free to follow me on instagram @endlesspsummer

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Wisdom, Montana

Day 106     8/13     0 miles

Big fat zero today in Leadore. I definitely needed it. For the most part my body has been holding up pretty well but after a couple thousand miles of walking I think it’s only natural to have a whole bunch of little aches and pains. A day off isn’t going to hurt any of that. Leadore didn’t have too much going on and that made it easy to really just relax. A bunch of us went out to breakfast this morning and the food was good but the service was lousy, that was no surprise though, a sign on the wall said that it would be. The grocery store and the restaurant are close walking distance to the inn so besides eating and resupplying I spent most of the day just chilling out on lawn furniture in the yard at the inn with the other hikers who were in town. The Leadore Inna general store QB demolishing a pizza 

Day 107     8/14     23 miles

I slept comfortably until about 8:30 this morning then packed up and got a quick breakfast and coffee before heading back to the trail. Whenever I take a day off from hiking it always feels like I’ve been away from it for a week. Sam, the owner of the inn, drove me, QB, Moaglee, Little Spoon and Diesel, a southbounder, up to the trail around 11am. The trail was quite pleasant today, I don’t know if it was the day off or the easy hiking but it just felt real nice all day. QB and I leap frogged with Moaglee and Little Spoon a few times and since those two have the same pack as me they showed me how to properly buckle it. I’m an idiot. I never knew I was doing it wrong, I just had all kinds of extra straps and buckles and didn’t know where they were supposed to connect. I’ve only been using it everyday for 3 months but now it all makes sense. After a while of walking through forests and over some open ridges, Queen B and I found a primo spot to camp in some pines over looking a huge valley and another incredible sunset. 

Day 108     8/15     29 miles

Today was another absolutely pleasant and peaceful day hiking the CDT. The weather was perfect for walking, probably in the 60’s and 70’s all day with zero precipitation and minimal wind. This morning we walked across Lemhi Pass which I learned has some serious historical significance as it was the Pass where the Lewis and Clark expedition crossed the Divide. It was also the border between the Louisiana Purchase and the Oregon Territory. You’ll have to google Lemhi Pass if you want a real history lesson, these are just a couple of little facts I picked up while reading the informational signs. After the pass most of the day was spent on nice soft trail through pine forest and then the last 8 or 9 miles we were up and down climbing little peaks and walking along ridges. I saw 3 black bears around 6:30, a mom and two cubs, sprinting across the trail from about 50 yards away. I saw more bears than people today. For the whole trail I’ve now seen 10 bears to QB’s 2. I guess I’m just better at seeing bears. At the end of the day we dropped way down off a ridge and found ourselves a nice little campsite in the woods.evidence of the Blair Witch QB eyeballing some big old Idaho mountains

Day 109     8/16     23 miles 

The trail today was pretty relaxing. Besides a climb up to a pass right away this morning, the miles were mostly uneventful. Around 4 this afternoon we got to Miner’s Lake Trailhead, where we had planned to meet my parents. This morning they flew from Boston to Bozeman, MT where they rented a car and drove as close to the trailhead as possible and when the road turned into a rocky jeep road they walked the remaining few miles to meet us. We all got there right on time, just good planning I guess. The 4 of us walked out the few miles to their rental and then they took us into the town of Wisdom, MT where they had rented a cabin. They took us to resupply then out to dinner and put us up for the night. My mother also brought me out a new shirt(the one I’ve been wearing has become a tattered rag so she brought me a Hawaiian shirt that I think was in my father’s current rotation), a fresh pair of sneakers, and my fleece sleeping bag liner for some colder nights that I expect. These two are the ultimate trail angels and I’ve missed eating meals on their dime. Of course it was great to see them too, I’ve definitely missed them and the rest of my family while I’ve been out here just walking all summer.a very nice family reunion with my parents in MontanaThis shirt served me well, but it’s literally falling apart. I’ll fondly remember the time we spent together and specifically when a hummingbird mistook the flowers for actual flowers. 

Day 110     8/17     29 miles

First thing this morning Cat and Den (my folks) whipped up an excellent breakfast of French toast, bacon and fried eggs before getting us back out to the trail. They parked at the campground and then the 4 of us walked the 3 miles of jeep road back to the Miner’s Lake Trailhead. The plan is for me and QB to do a 55 mile section and then tomorrow night my parents will park at Chief Joseph Pass and hike south along the Divide until we meet up. Queen B and I will get off trail for a day on Saturday and chill out with them or go on a little adventure or whatever. So shortly after we got going, about 5 miles from the trailhead we reached the top of a Pass and it was awesome! I felt pretty bad that I didn’t get my parents to walk up there with us but I didn’t know how spectacular it would be. There were big huge granite peaks in every direction and when I let out a nice loud blood curdling scream I could here my echo like 6 or 7 times over. The rest of today was lots of big mountains, wild flowers and alpine lakes. We swam in the afternoon in Slag-o-melt lake and even saw a mountain goat appropriately climbing up a mountain. In the evening we followed the trail as it contoured around the sides of mountains and eventually descended into forest where we found a place to camp. B crushing trail through the wildflowersNew shirt, new me

Day 111     8/18     27 miles

Today was no picnic. We started by dropping way down to about 5700 feet, this is the lowest the trail has been since before Silver City, NM. Then we climbed way up a long steep jeep road and the rest of the day was a series of steep climbs and then steep descents through pine forests. For the most part the views were obscured by trees except for a few times when we walked through burn areas up high on ridges. In the evening, after not seeing anybody all day, we ran into a trail crew eating supper. The Idaho Conservation Corps had been building switchbacks into the sides of mountains out here for weeks and when we walked by they fed us spaghetti, just good timing. The trail turned onto a dirt road and after a little while we met my parents and walked out a few miles with them to Chief Joseph Pass. They brought us back to the cabin and had a home cooked meal ready to eat. Things are good.a scary haunted gold mining cabin in the middle of the woodsmy parents getting a taste of the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail

Leadore, Idaho

Day 99      8/6      30 miles

Yesterday after eating burritos at Mack’s Inn in Island Park we walked a couple miles on the highway before getting to the Sawtell Resort campground. Included with a cheap tent site was full use of their hot tub, pool and showers. Along with a couple southbounders, Magpie and Schweppes, and a pair of section hikers, Margo and Jasper, we soaked in the hot tub for a couple hours. I really hope they change the water in that thing after they let 6 stinky hikers stew in there for hours. After our soak I got a plate of Lo Mein at the Chinese food place across the street and called it a night. This morning we ate breakfast sandwiches then ice cream sandwiches at the little grocery store and began walking. The first ten miles were a dirt road walk that climbed up towards Sawtell Peak. Then we followed what wasn’t much of a trail at all for about 5 miles, more of a bushwhack, through tons of wildflowers next to a creek. At some point during this bushwhack we crossed into Montana for the first time and then walked along the Idaho/Montana border for the rest of the day. Once we got away from the creek the trail climbed through a forest and up on a ridge. We walked into an awesome sunset along the ridge but there was no place to camp up there. Luckily the moon was full and we are so far west that it stays light out until 9:30. Eventually we dropped down but the only decent spot to camp was right on trail. Oh yeah I saw a coyote puppy or maybe even a wolf puppy this afternoon jumping around and stuff, it was at the top of a hill probably about 50 yards away and I really wish I got a better look at this little rascal.Bushwhacking through buku wildflowersas you can tell from these pictures, I walked into an awesome sunset tonight

Day 100     8/7     25 miles

Today was rather uneventful. We got a later start than usual since we hiked late last night. The trail went up on a ridge this morning and then through forest for about a dozen miles before we stopped at Arduous Lake for lunch, not really fit for swimming though. After lunch we walked through a burn for hours and then had a nice climb up to a pass right before Rock Spring where we broke for supper this evening. I don’t want to say it was boring, I enjoyed myself and everything but it might have been the most uneventful day of the whole trail. We did see a couple of big sheep dogs barking at us shortly before we found a spot to camp but other than that didn’t see much wildlife and no other hikers. It has been a good section for birds of prey though, lots of cool hawks.delicious icy cold water at Rock Spring 

Day 101     8/8     16 miles

We pretty much just crushed the trail all morning and into the afternoon to get to Interstate 15 where we got a ride into the town of Lima, Montana. This is a tiny little town and the motel there was full of mostly southbound hikers who are filming a documentary or something. Jan’s Cafe across the street was renting out little cabins so that was cool, we got one of those for the night. In town we finally caught up to 3 hikers who we last saw in Chama, NM and have been just ahead of us for months; Moaglee, Little Spoon, and Kibbs. After we took care of some town chores a bunch of us went out for supper at Peat Cafe where you can cook your own steaks. The place was cool and the concept of cooking your own steak must work out especially nice for them since they don’t have to pay a cook plus nobody sends their food back. We ate our steaks then resupplied for the next section at a gas station. I’ve been eating all crap on trail and that’s what gas stations specialize in.school bus for snow days that way you can’t send your food back 
Day 102     8/9     21 miles

This morning we had breakfast with Moist at Jan’s Cafe next to the cabins. He had been hiking with Mac and Appa when we last saw him down in the boot heel and got off trail in Winter Park but was about to rejoin his buddies. Mac and Appa walked in the restaurant and were shocked to see that their buddy had come back from the proverbial dead. B and I put a beating on breakfast then walked out to the interstate and put our thumbs out. We got the rare big rig to pull over and drive us the 20 miles back to the trail around 12 o’clock. Once back on trail we walked on dirt roads through desert for a couple hours until the trail climbed up on an open ridge. There were electrical storms all over the place so we took an alternate that kept us low for a few more miles and hopefully the T and L would subside. This worked out for us for awhile since we didn’t get struck by lightning but on the bushwhack up to the ridge I had to walk through all kinds of nettles that made my legs itch like whoa. The ridge was a roller coaster of steep ups and downs for about a dozen miles before eventually dropping down into some pines where we could camp. I ran into 3 southbounders today including ‘One of Us’ who I first met in Northern California on the PCT in ’15. On the left is Idaho, on the right Montana. Or the other way aroundThis rainbow started in Idaho and ended in Montana with the trail in the middle

Day 103     8/10     29 miles 

For some unexplainable reason I tossed and turned all night and barely got any sleep. Insomnia has been, without a doubt, the most frustrating and difficult obstacle I’ve had to face on this trail so far. I ended up getting a couple hours of sleep and didn’t start hiking until close to 9am. My first half dozen miles were miserable, I was exhausted and dragging ass through tall grass and constantly stepping on fresh cow pies. The trail then steeply climbed a few thousand feet and Queen B and I must have both caught the eye of the tiger or some other rush of adrenaline because we both bolted up that pass. The rest of the day my body felt pretty strong and thankfully the trail wasn’t too fierce. A good amount of dirt road and some long slow climbs and descents with wide open views. After seeing absolutely nobody all day we came across a group of 8 sobo’s all within a quarter mile of each other(rare to see that many people hiking together). Among them was Salt Lick who I met in ’15 in the California desert, it’s got to the point where every time I see a hiker coming my way I wonder if we’ve already met. QB and I walked a few more miles into the sunset and down towards Deadman Lake where we set up for the night just out of reach of a thunderstorm in the distance. Just when I thought this trail couldn’t get any weirder, we come up on all these huge white cliffs

Day 104     8/11     29 miles

I thought I would be pretty sluggish today after another lousy night’s sleep but I got my mojo back right after climbing the steep trail to a pass from Deadman Lake. We then descended and followed the trail onto rolling plains for awhile. This afternoon thunderstorms moved in right before we had to climb up on to an exposed ridge so we found some shelter in a few pines and waited about a half hour. Perfect timing. The clouds moved through and the 3 or 4 miles up on the ridge went smoothly. We saw Moaglee and Little Spoon doing the same thing, chilling out and waiting for the storm to pass. Up on the ridge we had some pretty sweet views and saw a herd of pronghorn bolting past us(I thought these were the same thing as antelope but I guess there’s a difference). We dropped down from the ridge and everything was nice and peaceful for awhile and then out of nowhere we had this super cold rain for a couple hours. Whatever. It cleared up and we found a nice spot to camp in some pines by Morrison Lake. Howling The sky hazy from distant wildfiresAbout 15 super fast pronghorn

Day 105     8/12     25 miles 

Finally some rest. Slept like a rock last night. This morning we got up and just cruised all day. The trail was mostly rolling dirt road up high on an open ridge but there were some good climbs in there. We saw a little red fox jumping around in the grass either playing or looking for mice and stuff. When it saw us it took off into the woods. Too bad because the last time I saw a fox it came right up close to play, probably expecting a frisbee toss or something. Once the trail turned off the dirt road onto actual trail and started up towards Elk Mountain I saw what I thought was a black dog. It wasn’t, it was a little black bear cub following another cub but this one was cinnamon colored and both were following a cinnamon colored sow. At first I thought it was a black bear cub hanging out with his grizzly bear friends, but I’m pretty sure this doesn’t happen. After this cool little bear sighting we got up over 10,000 feet on Elk Mountain and then just cruised downhill about 12 miles to Bannock Pass. Sam, the owner of the 4 room Leadore Inn, drove up to the pass and brought us down into Leadore(population 105) for the night. To get here from Bannock Pass we drove down gravel rt 29, the last unpaved highway in the country, supposedly. In town we grabbed some burgers at the town restaurant and then hung out in yard at the inn with Moaglee, Little Spoon, Kibbs and Lux. To see more pictures of this trip feel free to follow my insta @endlesspsummerQB crushing miles

-Endless

PS All My Love!!!

Island Park, ID

Day 92     7/30     0 miles

Took a zero today in Dubois. We’ve got some logistical limitations coming up due to permits in Yellowstone so it made sense to spend another night in town. Plus I didn’t sleep well on the floor of the church hostel last night so I could really use a night in a bed. This morning QB and I went to breakfast then to the laundromat with 3 cyclists riding their bikes across the country. JJ, Luke, and Isabella filled us in on their adventure and it sounded really awesome. Bike touring and thru hiking seem to be very similar in many ways and also have some key differences. I’ve never done any long distance biking but definitely would like to get into it. After laundry we parted ways with them as they headed west towards Jackson and eventually to the Oregon Coast. QB and I ate some more food and then found a room at the Black Bear Inn. This place was cool, they give thru hikers a break on the price(the owner’s son recently paddled the entirety of the Mississippi River, so they’re familiar with our lifestyle) and also have a nightly campfire beside the Wind River where they  serve up all the fixings for s’mores. As I was sitting at the campfire two women came down, Deb and Cynthia, and I immediately recognized their familiar accents. These are my people. They’re from Ipswich, MA a half hour north of me and are out this way for a wedding and to explore the state. Since I’m from Lynn, Cynthia asked me if I knew her ski husband Lou(not her real husband just the guy she skis with). Yeah, I do know Lou, my parents are good friends with Lou and his actual wife Margie. Then I find out Cynthia knows both of my parents and has skied with them too since they’re all Sunday River regulars. Small world, but this stuff happens to me all the time. Some kind of mining operation in Dubois

Day 93     7/31     20 miles

After two really lousy nights of minimal sleep, I finally got some solid rest last night. This morning Queen B and I were making our way to Daytime Donuts for breakfast when we ran into Mac and then Appa, two guys who we met way down in the boot heel of New Mexico and haven’t seen since Silver City. It was fun catching up these two and were surprised to see them. While thru hiking you can get an idea of where people are if they’re ahead of you by seeing names in trail registers but it’s much harder to figure out what’s going on behind you. After eating a bunch of donuts we put our thumbs out and quickly got picked up by Andrew from Rhode Island, who’s taking a road trip cross country and checking out all kinds of national parks and cool places. He dropped us off at Togwotee Pass and at the same time Treeman was getting out of a car back on trail also. We haven’t seen this gigantic German since Ghost Ranch in northern New Mexico. Back on trail we hiked with him for awhile until he stopped to pick up a box at Brooks Lake Ranch and we carried on for a very pleasant 20 mile day. TreeMan a German giant at Brooks Lake Ranch

Day 94     8/1     30 miles

Shortly after breaking camp this morning we saw a mother moose with a baby in tow. I thought I saw another one a little later but turned out to be just a boring horse. It was a handful of horses actually with a couple of forest service workers at the Nawlin Cabin who were up there clearing trail. The trail today was pleasant and relaxing again with very few people on it. We heard about an awesome waterfall from a little kid on horseback(he wasn’t alone, out with his parents on a weeklong trip). The waterfall ended up being a great place to swim and eat lunch. Shortly after lunch we passed Two Ocean Creek and ‘the Parting of the Waters.’ This river flows right along the Divide and splits in half with one side emptying into the Pacific and the other to the Atlantic. I couldn’t decide which way to pee. Treeman leapfrogged us a handful of times today and this afternoon we saw him go the wrong way for the third or fourth time. This time he was too far ahead to get his attention and correct him so hopefully he realized his mistake sooner than later but we still haven’t seen him. Tonight we got just shy of the Yellowstone NP border and since we don’t have a permit to stay inside the park, have to camp here. Tomorrow the plan is to go 27 miles then hitch into Grant Village where we’ll stay at a pay campground before meeting with a ranger to get our permit situation taken care of. Moose! Boring horses 

Day 95     8/2     27 miles 

Today was quite pleasant. We immediately crossed the border into Yellowstone NP and this morning was rather crisp. Shortly after entering the park we had to cross the Snake River and it was SO COLD!! Plus it wasn’t an easy crossing, in order to avoid going up to our waists we had to walk diagonally through the river where the shallower parts were. My feet thawed after an hour or so and the rest of the morning we spent walking alongside the Snake River and then the Heart River. Treeman caught up to us after lunch and we walked together for a few miles while he told us about his misadventures walking the wrong way yesterday. Queen B and I stopped at Heart Lake to swim this afternoon and shortly afterwards ran into HoHo and Chicory who are hiking south. I’ve been on the same trails as these two for the last couple years but didn’t meet them until CDT Days in April this year. We’re starting to come across a fair amount of southbound hikers(sobos) and I would say they’ve got the right idea. If I was to hike this trail again I would probably hike south. After Heart Lake the trail turns right past a geyser field. All this geothermal activity doesn’t make much sense to me but it sure is cool to see. QB listened to a podcast about it once and told me how Yellowstone is an active super volcano and we’re walking right through the caldera.Crazy! We got to Grant Village this evening and since we didn’t have backcountry permits for tonight had to use the hiker walk in site at the campground here.the Snake RiverQB bathing in Heart Lake silly elk walked right into our campsite 

Day 96     8/3     24 miles 

I figured we wouldn’t have a problem getting permits to camp where we wanted for tonight so after breakfast we went into the ranger office to get that taken care of. Boy was I mistaken! We encountered a mean scary park ranger and she was not very accommodating for thru hikers. Now we had to figure out a way to hike through Yellowstone on our own terms without breaking any rules. So we hitchhiked north to Old Faithful Village and got a great ride from Tom and Kathleen, then walked south for 24 miles back to the Heart Lake trailhead where Colt and his family stuffed us into their car and brought us back to Grant Village. We ran into Mac and Appa at the restaurant and camped with them at the hiker walk in site. We were lucky the trail today was flat and easy because we didn’t get started until almost 11 and still had to walk a bunch of miles. There were barely any people in the backcountry and we came across an awesome geyser field just north of Shoshone Lake and had it all to ourselves. Tomorrow we’ll hitch again to OFV and rejoin the trail, hiking north and out of the park. Had a geyser field to ourselvesI crossed this river and it only went up to my ankles, QB decided to go her own wayShoshone Lake

Day 97     8/4     20 miles

This morning we broke camp and got two quick hitches back to where we got on trail yesterday but this time we’ll be heading north again. After about a mile we reached Old Faithful Village and saw the famous geyser erupt in the distance as we crossed the parking lot. We joined Bears, Flip Flop, and Tree Man at the buffet breakfast then went outside with the crowds to watch another Old Faithful eruption. QB and I did a minor resupply then checked out the museum in the lodge and watched a short film about geysers. When we left the lodge we were just in time for another eruption of the main attraction. 3 times in one day! I didn’t realize it until getting here but there is way cooler stuff besides O.F. here. Yellowstone is home to 2/3’s of the planet’s geysers(I learned this in the short film), and we walked along a bunch of them as well as these wicked cool looking hot springs. Check out my pictures below. The trail followed boardwalks around a lot these springs and geysers and after a few miles it cut left and we climbed up out of the caldera of the Yellowstone super volcano. Immediately after turning left we were alone. After seeing hundreds of people this morning at the village we saw a total of 6 others the rest of the day and that included 2 rangers on horseback. We stopped at Summit Lake for a swim this afternoon then walked through a wide open burn area before leaving Wyoming and crossing into Idaho. I loved Wyoming! The trail was diverse and incredible, the people were super friendly, and the towns unique and interesting. One of my favorite states I’ve ever walked through, I’ll be back for sure. The trail follows along the Idaho/Montana border for the next few hundred miles so I’ll be back and forth between these two states before leaving Idaho and heading the rest of the way to Canada through just Montana. We don’t have a permit for camping in Yellowstone tonight so after we crossed into Idaho we still had to go 3 more miles to get outside the Western Boundary of the park and that’s where we set up for the night. Old Faithful doing its thingwalked to Idaho, nbd 

Day 98     8/5     19 miles so far

We got up this morning and have just been walking all day getting into the small resort town of Island Park, ID shortly before 2. Today consisted of a lot of road walking and although it’s not the most exciting I’m ok with some flat easy miles. We’ve got a few chores to do while in town and I heard there’s a good Mexican restaurant but the plan is not to stay here and to just carry on a few more miles this evening. First Idaho Sunset 

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Until next time,

Endless

PS All My Love!!!