15.3 miles camping at guard station 131.4 @ 5522ft
I’m awake before my alarm and lie in bed responding to emails as I take advantage of my last phone service for probably a week.
Soon the boys are up and we head to the post office to collect our resupply boxes. We explode everything on the ground outside and end up sending an entire box of food back to Denver as we have way too much. Crunchmaster tries to post his axe home and is told they won’t post ice axes…so we find a box from a store down the road and get creative packaging the axes and also send off our microspikes and a few other bits and pieces. Hooray for lighter packs!!!
Our food bags are still 6 days heavy and it’s a struggle to lift our packs.
We get an easy hitch down to Marias pass then commence the hike through the Lewis and Clark national forest around 1130am. Soon the trees all around us are burnt and we have to climb over some blow downs. Then the trail is not really trail at all but a giant game of pick up sticks – more trees fallen over than upright. It’s exhausting climbing up, over, along, around, under the downed trees. Soon my legs are bleeding from getting scratched up. oOw freakin ow!
I start feeling weirdly faint. I’m not sure if it’s the big temperature change from the past few days, dehydration, tough climbing or something else going on but I’m not feeling awesome 😣 I put my hands in running creeks as we go by, splash my face, sit on rocks, eat some sugar.
The trail is full of PUDs (pointless ups and downs). It takes completely unnecessary turns and climbs. Everyone is getting crabby and I’m entertained by a few rants from the boys.
We hike along a dirt road that has loooots of animal tracks. It’s a freakin animal super highway. We see some giant grizzly tracks, then some more giiiiant grizzly tracks. Grizilla and Bearzilla. Wolf tracks galore, moose and elk tracks. I’m very keen to hike off this track and find camping not on the giant animal dance floor.
Guthooks says there is a guard station up ahead so we hike laaate until 830pm and finally arrive at the promised land. It is surrounded by a barbed wire fence (no bears allowed!), with a pit toilet and water pump! Woot!
There’s a tent set up and we meet Beacon and Mermaid who are camping here.
We use a ladder to put our food on the roof of the horse shed, watch a beautiful sunset and fall asleep soundly long after hiker midnight in our little barbed wire protected world.