CDT Day 40 – The Night of the Grizzly

9.7 miles, Canada/ US border to Elizabeth foot campground, 4902ft
So many zeros!!! I felt I should include them in my grand total of days for the hike. Seems crazy that I’m now on day 40, when it also feels like Im just starting. New gear, new state, new border, new direction.
We have a nice chilled morning in East Glacier before jumping on the shuttle to take us the few hour drive up to the Canadian border. A bunch of photos and a selfie with the border agent and we are on our way!
Grizzly, Crunchmaster and myself are joined by another hiker Wait Up who was on the shuttle with us. Safety in numbers.
The trail is mostly downhil through some lush growth and valleys. The mountains around us have a little dusting of snow on top, and the sun is shining! Yay to be back on trail ☺ And yay for hiking in a beautiful new state. Hi Montana!
Shoulders, knees and feet are groaning at us as we adjust our new heavier pack weights (and new pack for me!), and to being on trail again. Hopefully our bodies will adjust and be happy soon.
It’s only 9.7 miles to our campsite (we have to stay at specific campsites) at Elizabeth Foot (right on Elizabeth lake) so we make it there in good time. There’s still light after 10pm here, so I guess anytime is really a good time! We unload all our smelly things into the bear boxes at the food prep area, set up our tents in the designated spot, then wander back to eat our dinner.
There are 4 others staying at the campsite with us (not CDTers, people out in Glacier for a few days). We’ve finished eating, some are cooking and we’re  hanging about chatting when a couple who are also camping at the site come wandering back to the food prep area. “There was a bear on the path near our tent. It wandered that way” pointing towards the pit toilet.
Grizzly is at the loo and I give him the scary news as he comes back.  We carry bear spray here and have it with us always, even going to the loo!
The couple comes back again, looking more worried this time “It’s right on the path heading this way!”. We all decide to go together to check it out – I figure there are a lot of us so should be safe, plus more of us to scare it off.
It’s big, it’s a grizzly, it’s right near the tents digging in the ground. Then it starts moving towards us. 8 people yelling, making noise, all have bear spray in hand but he doesn’t care. He’s a ballsy bugger that has clearly had luck in scoring food at this campsite before. This is his territory and we are in his way. We are all backing up into the food prep area with the bear following. Grizzly (the human, not the bear) starts banging on the bear boxes making a big noise which finally sends the bear running. Eeeeps.
First day in the park, first grizzly bear encounter.
The temperature drops fast and I am suddenly freezing. I dive into the tent and put on all my layers and bundle up. Everyone is a little on edge from the bear and crossing fingers and toes he doesn’t come back tonight. I’m crossing everything in hopes of not having to go to the loo in the middle of the night!
Goodnight Glacier! Goodnight bear!