[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

[CDT-L] Update: Flight of the Spirit Eagle

Direct from the hiker's mouth!!!

An update for all - first, thanks to those who sent us notes, it really is
good to hear from friends.  We don't see many people out here, and a
friendly voice is very welcome.  Anyhow, we ended up in Anaconda early
because they kicked us out of Glacier. We weren't misbehaving, a bear was.
He tore into some hung packs at a campsite.  Until they had resolved the
situation, they closed the trail through the park.  Too bad, since Red Eagle
Lake is one of the nicer campsites.  They said that if it was a black bear,
they would remove the bear, if it is a grizzly, they would remove the
hikers.  Discrimination!  Anyhow, we enjoyed our 5 days in the park and were
very disappointed to have to leave. We were very surprised when they tracked
us down at our campsite, after we had gone to bed at that, to tell us
personally that the trail was closed.  We had the option of bailing out,
doing a 40 mile walk along the narrow highway around the section that was
closed, or trying to marathon it past the bear, over a snowy pass, and on to
the next campsite about 21 miles away. If not for the snow, we would have
done that, but after spending 10 miles in non-stop snow that day, the idea
of repeating it at the end of a 21 mile day just didn't seem feasible. Since
we have already hiked the park, it made more sense to jump ahead to the next
section and not worry about when they were going to open the trail again.

The first few days coming down from the Canadian Customs station on Chief
Mountain Highway were very beautiful - you wouldn't believe the colors. The
rocks are bright red, green, yellow and orange.  There was still a lot of
snow on the high country.  Going over Red Gap Pass and Piegan Pass there was
no sign of trail, and we got snowed on as we slogged.  Actually, it rained a
part of every day we were in the park - which really is too bad as the views
were incredible. It did make for some incredible waterfalls though and one
really bad streamcrossing where a bridge had not yet been replaced.  At the
top of Piegan Pass we were very surprised to run into footprints - a couple
of hotdogging snowboarders had walked up from the highway and had been
making incredible tracks down the side of the mountain. Utterly fearless,
utterly insane.  We were happy to follow their tracks down the mountain,
even though they did lead us to the wrong trailhead and we had to walk an
extra two miles along the highway.  Still, it is better than trying to guess
where the trail goes in the snow.  We saw some incredibly large wolf tracks
there too.  I wouldn't have wanted to see him too close, though I wish I'd
gotten a glimpse of him.  We did see Ferdinand the grizzly though - a young
two year old bear feasting on glacier lilies in a meadow.  We also saw
another moose about 15 feet away munching on moss.  The park was barely
open. They had just opened the highway the week before, and ended up closing
it because of fresh snow (we had 6" of powder on Piegan.)  We had one
campsite to ourselves because the other sites were completely drifted over
by 4 - 6 feet of snowpack - it will be weeks before that melts out.

Anyhow, it took some doing, but we ended up taking trains and buses back
down to Warm Springs, where we started four weeks ago. It seems much longer
somehow.  We are looking forward to entering the Anaconda Pintler
Wilderness, especially after all the civilization we've been experiencing
lately.  I've enjoyed eating all this ice cream, but it's becoming too much
like the AT, it's time to get back to wilderness again.  Anaconda has been a
surprise - bigger than expected, with two good groceries (Safeway and
Albertsons) and very nice people. The owner of the Marcus Daly Motel ran us
down to the grocery a mile and a half away and waited until we were done,
and the lady at the post office knew we were thruhikers and teased us about
it, plus we were able to access the Internet at the library.  Nice!

Generally, we are doing well though. We are hoping not to have to do too
much snow travel, but looking up at the mountains above town, it doesn't
look good.  Jim's new boots are still giving trouble, but he's keeping
smiling, most of the time.  The beauty still awes us.  Traveling through
Montana on the bus, it was interesting to see the variety - the green
plains, the grassy meadows, snowy peaks and lodgepole covered mountains, the
ranches and mines and small towns scattered across the land, the fantastic
rock formations and sparkling waters.  Life is good.

Walk Softly,
Jim and Ginny
Flight of the Spirit Eagle

Get Free Email and Do More On The Web. Visit http://www.msn.com

Message from the Continental Divide Trail Mailing List