Old Friends

Montana has been a treat. The scenery has been breathtaking, the beer hoppy, the company a hoot, and the truth that I get to spend my summers this way has been an overwhelming thought to me from time to time. It’s been so stunning in these glacier carved mountains. The Anaconda Pintlers and the ranges in the Beaverhead National forest are truly incredible. There are wildflowers everywhere. Plus, we’re on it! The divide is prominent and present and we walk that line. Looking out for many miles in all directions, right on the spine of the continent. Passing by Lewis and Clark way points and native battle fields. I feel challenged and inspired.

I’ve been noticing that great Montana feel, as well, sitting down for an occasional beer in town and talking to the locals. Feeling like everyone is what they are, in a really beautiful way. I’ve been talking about life in Glacier, how lucky I am to have my family, how naturally we all behave, even when we don’t do what we’re proud to have done or admit that fear got the better of us. We laugh, we cheers, and we feel connected, because we all are. Because we’re alive and lucky and aware of it. It’s been incredible.

Jesse is here to visit today. He’s the greatest link I have to who I am other than my family. It’s so great to have him here. We stayed up talking and playing cards till 2 am last night. He’s hiking out with me today. I can’t help but think of what a special friendship we have. That we could be partners for 8 years and then have such a concrete friendship to rely on today and for many days to come!

For the record, there’s Moose Drool in them thar mugs!

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Montana Time

Another flip flop, another set of laughs and unanticipated adventures. I don’t have much time to write these days, and I’m sorry, but I will get around to it next stop. Which is Leadore, ID! Me and the guys have hopped up to Helena, MT and continued south. We are in Anaconda today. It feels great to be back in Montana, though I know I’ll be walking out of it before too long. The snow is pretty melted out here, almost entirely. We’ve been enjoying the inside jokes and company of our little crew. Here are a few photos of our shenanigans.

This is a lunch joke off in a lovely shaded culvert.

A ride in the back of a horse trailer. (Yes, that is what you think it is on the walls)

Stabby and Donger in the back of an ambulance, into Encampment, WY.

And this is what we’re usually up to. Stabby, Banjo, and Donger on the road again!

I apologize for being so brief, but the mountains are calling and I must go! This trail is unbelievable. I’m always thinking about the love, feeling lucky!

Steamboat Love!

I made it in to Steamboat last night, and it’s an irreplaceable feeling. To journey on foot into a beautiful place full of friends you love. I can only imagine how Glacier is going to feel after this. A couple of my best friends live here, who have been involved in all of my adventures one way or another for most of my adult life. I crashed Heidi’s night at Mazola’s, the Italian restaurant she works at, last night. Enjoyed some fine food and beer and had some great bar chat with the locals. It felt good. My hitchhike into town was even with a nice man who had been out for a run. In the first couple of minutes we got to talking about all of the same people we know and found that I am testing gear for the company he works for. He encouraged me to stop by soon and swap out some gear if I’m interested. Staying at Heidi’s was incredible. A warm shower, the most comfortable sleeping space I know, and girl talk before bed. I can’t help but feel excited to winter here in Steamboat, knowing there will be great people to cook with, run with, and talk to.

Steamboat is a great town. I’m more aware of it now that I’ve walked the surrounding wilderness to get here. There were trail runners, bikers, and Subaru wagons everywhere:) The walk in from Wyoming was beautiful! Hahn’s Peak and the Zirkels looming over the landscape, wildflowers popping up all over the place, raging rivers making me glad I’m opting to walk the low roads with bridges instead of the high divide.

The group I’ve walked in with has been good company. Helps a lot with a road walk. We have been camping lake-side at picnic areas, playing cards and hitting up the local cafe and country store. We met some great people this way. Especially the owners of the Hahn’s Peak Cafe, Katie and DJ. They served us coffee and pastries before they opened. We were waited on by an adorable little girl named Sabrina.

So walking into Steamboat was an experience of warm hearts and beautiful scenery mixed with great laughs and goofing off with the boys. Still, there are a lot of questions about getting through Colorado now that we’re back to the snow. I’m sure I will figure something out in the next couple of days. Already I’ve been feeling so grateful to be with my friends. Adrienne just rescued me at the coffee shop, since I forgot my money and ID at Heidi’s house this morning. It feels so great to be with them! I have the most incredible women in my life!

Basin, Great!

Alas, I find myself in Rawlins, WY. With a sunburn and a smile. The road trip up to Wyoming was a hoot. 7 hikers crammed in a van, gazing out the window at the crazy amounts of snow throughout Colorado. At times we were struck speechless with it. High hopes that it will melt a bit while we’re up here walking across the Great Basin.

And what a basin indeed. We walked along the Oregon trail and California Cut Off, which had some neat history to read about. Got a hitch to the trailhead, all 7 of us, in the back of a horse trailer. Enjoyed 4 1/2 days of good, clean walking. No blizzards, no scary river crossings, still some hail, just one very electric storm had me crouching in a ditch yesterday, all is well. What a time of year to be here too! It’s wet. Which is rare. The Basin is known for some of the longest stretches on the trail without water, which is not the case at all this season. I think it’s about the wettest it ever gets. Which makes us quite lucky.

We’re enjoying one another’s company too. Lots of good laughs and inside jokes in the making. Lots of wildlife, pronghorns and wild horses.

The five of us (Donger, Banjo, Stabby, Bird Dog, and I) are going to the movies tonight. Pitch Perfect 2, I guess it is (I didn’t pick it), we’re going to sneakĀ in some beer:) Life is good.