8th September 

23.6 miles

Trailside camp (2387.3) to Dearborn creek (2410.9)

There was light rain overnight. The wind was already strong in my sheltered campsite. I was wearing every layer of clothing I had when I set out from camp. It was cold. I had 2 miles to hike to the first water. The wind nearly blew me off my feet on a couple of occasions.

The brutally strong wind continued all day. 50-80mph. The wind chill had me wearing my thermal clothing and down jacket all day. At times I needed to wear my balaclava to stay warm. It was a rather uncomfortable day for me. The trail stayed high on the ridgetop which afforded extensive views. The mountains ahead were daunting. I’d be there soon enough.

After lunch I saw a southbound hiker, wearing jeans. The only human I saw all day. He was complaining about the cold and the wind. I remember the weather  forecast mentioning strong wind today.

My body felt good. I felt strong. I had loads of energy for a change. I was taken a little by surprise. There was little flat trail today, it was either up or down. And it was brutally cold which sucked energy from me, not to mention the heavy pack.

It was late afternoon when I made my way down to a large river, Dearborn river. It was 7.30pm and I’d been hiking for 12 hours. I found a good campsite next to the river but thought I’d make another mile before camp. Not a good choice. It was getting dark and I was forced to camp on a slope. I had to hang my food due to the presence of Grizzly bears. I guess I forgot to mention I’m in the area with the highest density of grizzly bears in the lower 48. I struggled to find a tree beach strong enough to hold my suspended backpack. Like a comedy show the branches kept breaking. My third attempt was successful and I was able to make it to bed.

12 Responses

  1. Deborah

    Wow, that looks beautiful. I noticed your bear spray right away. How fun to follow your journey. It makes me happy. Oh, and that poo, wow!

    • BikeHikeSafari

      Loads of bears in this part of Montana. And the bear spray is my safety backup, as I’m hiking solo.

  2. Bob Jaworski

    Those mountains ahead look really daunting as does the big pile of Grizzly dung…….

  3. zippyriffs

    Enjoying your adventure ! Youre doing great. Why not hike with “Shadow, Elusive, Rampaige, Greg in Wild or Stumblin Beef” while in grizzly country? I met thm in Twin Lakes, Colorado. Safety in numbers?

    • BikeHikeSafari

      Safety in numbers is true. Most hikers walk at different paces and have different plans for their hikes. Sometimes it doesn’t work out hiking in a group. Through hiking can be a strange experience

  4. Andi

    Your opening photo made me laugh! Those clouds look ominous, but the scenery is definitely improving!

    • BikeHikeSafari

      True, the food bag is enough but with 8 days of food and my cooking gear etc, it was easier to hang the the whole bag


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