Saturday, July 6, 2013

Day 19 - the slog into Lincoln

So, this morning, we were both elated and exhausted. Elated because we were going to go to town! The first true comforts of civilization in 10 days! Showers, laundry, food. Exhausted because we were 5mi behind everyone else, didn't have the energy to eat, or the water to cook. We estimated that we had ~22 mi to go to Hwy 200, where we would hitchhike to Lincoln, MT, the light at the end of our long, dry tunnel.

We woke up extra early (5:30am), and were out of camp by 6:15am, starting up a gentle ascent when we both realized with shock that we were still tired from our marathon day before. We both had no 'up' left in our legs.

While we would normally be climbing steadily up these long graded inclines, we were huffing and puffing, able to hike uphill for 50' to 500' before stopping to pant. The problem with stopping is that the minute I stop, I feel the lactic acid seeping into my legs, aching deeply. So, I stop to pant, then shuffle forward a few feet to prevent the acid build up, then try to get going again. This is one of the toughest sections, and has been called the 'roller coaster of the CDT' for the ridgeline peak to peak climbing. The trail is tough here, shards of loose rock and soft sand, so every step requires concentration.

In one of the most grueling days I've ever experienced on any of the three trails, Gangles and I gutted it out to eventually catch up with Moose Charmer. Since we ran SPOT, the sobohobos knew we were alive, and nearby, but they were a few miles ahead. Moosie, Gangles and I leapfrogged the last 8m, and just about made it to the road when we were finally waylaid by a thunderstorm. By my scientific measurement of distance (counting "one Mississippi, two..."), I estimated that the lightning was 1-2mi from us, which is terrifying. We threw on our ponchos and booked it down, where we ran into Moosie.

A kindly older man gave us a lift into Lincoln. Because it was July 4th weekend, the town was booked up, and we all crashed in a room at the Sportsman Motel. Excellent dinner (ribeye) at the local steakhouse, and excited for the parade and rodeo tomorrow.

Thanks to Gangles for being amazing, and getting me through the day.

Mileage: 22mi, from the pocket meadow to Hwy 200


  1. Love you guys, glad you made it through together.

    1. Nadzoo! How are you? Thanks for the note. And will you please text me your current mailing address? I have a postcard burning a hole in my pack waiting for your highness