Day 87 - quick trip into Helena, MT (23.7 miles)
August 4, 2021
Miles: 23.7 miles
Got up at my normal time. Slept a little better as I used the back padding of pack. I really need to get my air mattress fixed, not sure how many nights I can sleep on the hard ground. I might need to purchase a new pad.
I had 12.5 miles to the highway into Helena. The first part was on logging roads so made for a quick morning.
Then entered the woods. Soon after i had my first encounter with a grizzly bear. It seemed to be a young one so my first thought was to look for momma bear but this bear seemed to be alone. Once the bear saw me it ran off which I was glad. I stayed very aware after that.
Ran into a few day hikers heading towards the highway. I informed them of the bear just in case it came back to the trail.
Got to the highway around 10am and it took about 30 minutes to get a hitch. A guy in a truck was leaving the campground and was headed into town.
He dropped me off at one of the outfitters but they were closed so I walked to the other one about a half mile down. Got my repair tape and tested it outside to make sure it sealed all the holes. It passed the test so no need to buy a new one.
Then walk over to the grocery store which was about a mile away. The guy that gave me a ride so he would be by the store later and would look for me to give me a ride back.
I bought way too much food as I shopped on an empty stomach and forgot I still had food left over. I guess I won’t get hungry on my way to Benchmark Ranch.
As I was coming out of the store my ride was there. I passed on it as I really wanted some fast food which I probably should have gone back with him and eaten the extras food I had.
Went down the street to Burger King and ate way too much plus I had gotten dessert back at the store. As I was finishing up a guy asked me what I was planning and told him about my hike. He offered to drive me back to the pass so I jumped into his truck. He ended up only taking me about 2/3 up as he thought the trail was at a different spot.
I waited about 45 minutes at where I got let off for another ride to the top.
Got back on trail and ran into another hiker heading north, Sea Otter. He isn’t a true CDT northbounder as he has been hiking all over but it was fun to hike with for awhile.
Got to my campsite and farther along on the trail than I planned but it’s hard to stop hiking at 7pm.
After getting everything set up I got my air mattress out and the repair tape just isn’t working so gotta figure out what to do. I did see in my CDT app there is an outfitter right next to the trail in about 30 miles so I hope he will have some kind of foam pad to buy.