0 miles – 17.1 miles
Helena (2311.4) to Field (2328.5)
We moved from the RV Park to the Budget Inn Express hotel in downtown Helena. I shared a room with Lucky and Rampage. The first half of the day was spent showering and washing clothes. In the early afternoon a large group of us went in search of food.
Helena is a small city or a large country town, similar to my own hometown. It’s also the capital city of Montana. I guess I liked it straight away. Complete with a homeless shelter across the road where most of the occupants consumed liquor while eating. The police would be called there later in the afternoon. Just like my hometown in many ways.
While wandering the streets I spied I sign on a restaurant. ‘All you can eat sushi buffet’. Well, I don’t like sushi but I do like ‘all you can eat’ buffets, specially while thru hiking. Everyone ordered the all you can eat buffet except myself. They did their best to bankrupt the business. I was satisfied with the large serving of Thai Green curry and rice. I walked out of the restaurant, everyone else rolled out. They were stuffed.
I went to bed early while many other hikers went out until the wee early hours. I didn’t hear the others when they returned.
No rush to get back on trail the next morning. I had two breakfast meals then walked to the outskirts of town to try and hitchhike back to the CDT. I didn’t make it to the outskirts of town. As I walked passed a grocery store a guy stopped his vehicle and asked if I was a CDT hiker. With his child in the backseat he went out of his way to give me a lift back up to the trail. My faith in humanity restored, as it has been many times in this long journey that I have been on.
It was around midday when I got back on trail. I was unsure how far I’d make it today but set off with the intention of making it near some water sources. Water would be a big problem in this area. Most of the small rivers, creeks and springs have dried up. I will need a little luck and more than a few detours off the trail to search out water. The cool weather and predicted snow in the next couple of days will limit my water loss.
By late afternoon Lucky and Rampage caught up to me. We hiked together for a couple of miles but they are on a different resupply strategy than me so they pushed ahead and I set up camp early in a farmers field. My water is already low. I hope the springs have water tomorrow.