I traveled from my hometown in Washington to Whitefish, MT where a friend of mine, Keith Haas, helped me get my permit and get over to the other side of Glacier National Park. He even gave me a pair of sunglasses since mine were in rough shape. However, I wasn't able to get a backcountry permit for that night, so I needed a place to stay and a ride to the start of the CDT in the morning. Keith called a friend of his who lives near the start of the CDT and his friend agreed to feed me, house me, and give me a ride. That is how I met Jack Gladstone and his wife Patty Gladstone.
Jack is a musician, so not only did I get food, shelter, and transportation, but entertainment. Patty caters large events, so I got to eat surf and turf with several other people. Dessert was huckleberry ice cream sandwiches and huckleberry cheesecake. Patty made enough food that I could eat all I wanted to. It was the best meal I had in 2018. Not only that, but Jack and Patty offered to help me as long as I was in the area and kept in touch with me for the remainder of my hike. Jack's influence on my hike was not over.
Jack Gladstone at the Canadian border with me.
My legs decided to not totally work my first few days on trail and the backcountry permit system did not allow me to hike as much as I wanted to, so I took it easy through Glacier National Park.
The passes in Glacier National Park offered great views.
Leaving Glacier, I found the trail difficult to follow at times, and largely boring. Burn areas depressed me and I learned that alternates to the official CDT tended to be better than the CDT. As I hiked South, I met Northbound CDT hikers including several I met in 2016 on the PCT including XC Crow, Sockeye, and Z.
The Spotted Bear Alternate was the best highlight of Montana and Idaho outside of Glacier.
Finally, the day before I arrived near Helena, Montana, I had enough with the navigational issues that slowed me down, so I went into town unplanned and bought a pay as you go smartphone. The rest of the day I spent downloading and installing Guthook app so I could use GPS for navigation.
Shortly after I got back on trail, I saw Graduate, T-Rex, and Prodigy. I met them at Harts Pass in Washington the day after I finished the PCT and the day before they finished the PCT as part of their CYTC attempt. They hike faster than me, but I can keep up by hiking longer hours than they do, so I joined them to the next town of Anaconda.
Graduate had some dental problems that forced him to take a day off the trail in Anaconda and his wife T-Rex stayed with him while Prodigy and I hiked on.
As Prodigy and I neared the Montana-Idaho border, we started hearing rumors about a fire. The closer we got, the bigger the fire got and the more difficult the reroute became. Using information provided to us by several Northbound hikers, Prodigy and I decided to hike down into Jackson, MT and took the first road that was headed the right direction.
When we got cell service, I downloaded some more maps so we could see navigate to town. Unfortunately, we didn't notice that we had to cross a rancher's private property. Further investigation showed it was a long hike to go around all private property, so we decided to chance hopping the fence and crossing his land. A couple minutes after we hopped the fence, a truck pulled up as the rancher and his son were headed out to the woods. Our best decision was that we didn't try to hide and the rancher let us pass through his property.
In Jackson, we decided on a course of action to get back on trail while maintaining continuous steps. The only problem is that both of us had packages in Leadore, ID which was the other side of the mountains. I called up a friend of mine who goes by Mrs. R and asked her is she could get our packages for us and deliver them to us in Lima, MT. She not only agreed, but acted like we did her the biggest favor by allowing her to help us out. Mrs. R also treated to us some food, and tried to spoil us in any way she could.
Smoke in the air made it difficult to see and forced Prodigy and I to road hike.
The trail on the CDT was frequently overgrown and at least one plant I had to bushwhack through I am allergic to based on the rashes that covered my legs. Seeds covered my gaiters and shorts, and I occasionally took breaks just to clean that stuff off.
Seeds on my gaiters.
Let's just say, that by the time I got there, I was looking forward to Wyoming.
#SYTC #SingleYearTripleCrown #CalendarYearTripleCrown #CYTC #Pathfinder #LongDistanceHiking #GlacierNationalPark #ContinentalDivideTrail #CDT #JackGladstone #KeithHaas #Prodigy #Graduate #TRex #SpottedBearAlternate #Guthook #MrsR