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[CDT-L] Date: Thu, 29 Jul 1999 12:33:32 PDT

BURNOUT, LETHARGY!!!  I’m home…..again.

Hi, everyone.  Hope you’re enjoying this hot, dry summer.  Apparently, the 
cool mountains weather was less attractive, so here I am; ready to lead a 
normal life again.  Guess 2 months of hiking is about my limit; when each 
day started to be just putting in the miles, the decision was easy – do 
something else, anything!

Actually, I had a good time, and some interesting experiences, hiking the 
last stint (July 11 to 25) with Wm Emerson, “Marathon Man,” from Chief 
Mountain, Glacier Park to Rogers Pass, Lincoln, MT.
The Glacier Park stretch was erratic, going from 14 to 29 miles a day due to 
campground availability; several campsites were still closed due to snow 
cover or grizzly bear activity and camping outside established campsites is 
only made available to climbers, not hikers.  Some snow travel with minor 
trail-following problems was the norm until Pitamakan Pass, where up to 5 
ft. of snow obscured the trail, falling snow and fog obscured the pass, and 
steep snow fields made travelling farther unsafe; so we backed out and road 
walked (I hitch hiked) to E. Glacier.
South of Maria’s Pass, on US Hwy 2, on the southern border of Glacier Park, 
there are three CDT routes, depending on which map or guidebook you’re 
looking at.  We chose the ridge route, ended up bushwhacking our way up to 
the ridge which had been burned some time ago, and found a very pleasant 
campsite from which Wm watch a pyrotechnic thunderstorm that night (I slept 
through it).  The next am we followed the ridge from Elk Calf Mt. Towards 
Running Crane Mt., in fog and on occasional snow, finally ending up on a 
side ridge with no idea where we missed the main ridge; exit ridge north – 
with another 2 miles of bushwhacking till we hit trail again.  That night we 
ran into a guided horse party at Beaver Lake, and were invited to supper 
leftovers that we had a couple heaping plates of; we stayed up late that 
night sharing experiences, etc. with a bunch of great people.  We had lost 
about a day’s travel on the ridge and ended up doing three consecutive 
30-mile days to get back on schedule.
The Chinese Wall was certainly one of the highlights.  That night we helped 
out a fellow who had wandered from his horse camp near Indian Point and got 
lost in the dark; fortunately, we were able to get him out of the cold, 
rainy night and into the ranger’s cabin there.  The next morning we helped 
him find his way back to camp.
The next night, at Welcome Pass, we crossed paths with Willis, “Whoa 
Jarvis”, who had been hiking from AZ and up the CDT since early April.  We 
had never met but had been communicating via e-mail for 3+ months, sharing 
experiences and thoughts.  It was great to finally meet him and share the 
evening and early morning.
The last two days into Rogers Pass were beautiful hiking on The Divide, with 
the added excitement of a forest fire that burned right up to the trail (the 
forest service posted the trail closed a couple hours before we exited); but 
some inaccurate trail signs, and a trail intersection that is wildly 
different and distant from what is shown on the maps, caused me to spend a 
couple hours each day searching out the correct intersection.  #*&#%@^.
Had a pleasant stay in Lincoln, MT, former home of the unibomber.  The first 
morning out of there, Sunday the 25, I dreaded the miles ahead, was tired 
and unmotivated.  So, the decision was made to quit indefinitely.  After 
making apologies to Wm for abandoning him, I happily walked out, got a hitch 
to Missoula with a forest fire fighter, and rode the bus home arriving 
Monday am.  Three days later the energy has finally returned.

This will probably be my last trail report for the summer, unless I get 
really crazy.  Will let you know if I hit the trail again.  Best wishes to 
the other hikers who are still on the CDT.

You have a great summer!!

Bill Gurwell


bilgy (bil'je) adj. looking or smelling like bilge water([slang] worthless 
or silly talk or writing; nonsense)

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