It was a cold morning. Ice had frozen onto my tent poles. Montana is not going to make it easy for me. Only a short couple of days ago it was over 100F during the day.
From the first steps of the day I felt sluggish like an old car that needed to be warmed up to operating temperature. The only problem was it stayed cold all day. My body refused to cooperate with my commands to hike. I simply had no energy. I ate huge portions of food but it made little difference. I was hiking very slowly. The hiking was not made any easier by the large amount of blown down trees. It was part obstacle course, part Olympic hurdles course. I ripped a very large hole in the butt of my pants, even larger than the one that already existed and another large hole on the knee of my pants.
It wasn’t long before I lost sight of Nips and Easyrider. They waited on a mountain top for me admitting that they too were feeling tired. That was the last I saw of them. As I rested on that same mountain top I heard the call of wolves in the valley below.
I signed up to hike this trail to experience the wonderful scenery, to meet amazing people and to challenge myself against a trail that is often called one of the most difficult trails in the world. I knew there would be difficult days and easy days. Today was a difficult one. I just want to linger and rest but I’m caught in a predicament. I do not have enough food to rest. In fact, I believe I am going to have to ration my food over the next couple of days. If not I might run out. I’m usually very good with my food planning but the fire detour seems to have messed up my plans.
Late afternoon I came upon a note on a bridge where I stopped to get water. Nips and Easyrider were camping 4 miles ahead of me, so the note said. It was already around 7pm so I knew I wasn’t going to make it that far. I was too exhausted. I filled up with water and made it another mile or so before I camped, solo. I’m really hoping that my body recovers enough by the morning so I can catch them.