We got up early and grinded out 4 more road miles to the start of the trail in Anaconda-Pintler Wilderness. It was a great relief to be back on soft ground. We climbed all morning, and I eventually stopped for lunch half way up to a pass. The views were great today all around us. I ran into quite a few weekend hikers and then out of nowhere by a lake, 4 thruhikers! E-Blanket, Trainwreck, A Bear and Money Shot, all hiking together. We ended up all swimming at a (freezing) lake and then heading up the next pass. From there we traversed a gorgeous basin and then up one more pass.
We had dinner there and then descended looking for a spot to camp. Our 4 newest friends snagged the first spots, and then we were stuck in deep undergrowth, which forced us to hike quite a bit further than intended. We ended up near a lake, with ferocious mosquitos for companionship, along with two more new CDT hikers – Irish and Flop.
I haven’t gotten much of an impression of anyone yet, they all started after us but caught up on the Anaconda Route. Somehow I felt vaguely competitive, like I have to hike faster to “beat” them. That passed pretty quickly though, everyone is really doing their own thing. The first group has already hiked New Mexico, then came to Glacier and hiked south. Flop is quitting in a few days. It’s all good.
Date: July 24, 2011
Daily Distance: 30.1 miles
Trip Distance: 524.6 miles