Sunday, July 7, 2013

Day 21 - Rollercoaster of love

Today was a better day.

Perhaps it was because the ridges were not the only obstacle between my current location and lying down. Or perhaps it was because my quads no longer felt as though they were internally hemorrhaging whenever I climbed uphill. Maybe it was not getting heinously lost, and walking a bonus, yet irrelevant 12 mi. Or the day off, or the rodeo, or the parade. For whatever reason, today was most definitely a better day.

The ridge walks today were still as exhausting. We are most definitely still on the CDT roller coaster. We are walking peak to peak up on the ridges, and the views are spectacular. And listening to elk bugling or cows mooing in the valleys below. Strange music.

Apparently, it's a rite of passage to have the slow realization that the CDT is PCT miles on AT terrain with weather from hell (presumably Dante's, with both heat and cold extremes). So, tough terrain and steep uphills on long long miles. I hate to use the 'b' word, but I've used to daily since being out here. I think the CDT's unofficial motto captures the je ne sais quoi of the trail: Embrace the brutality.

So that's what we've been doing. Long miles, tough climbs ridge to ridge, but loving the journey.

We have 2 more days to Elliston / Helena at Macdonald Pass. 25 mi tomorrow, due to the dry trail conditions, then a more manageable 19mi. It will be brutal, but fun.

Mileage: 17mi from Rogers Pass to Flesher (pronounced 'Fletcher' Pass)

p.s., As I was laboring down to Flesher Pass, we passed an older gent hiking casually in jeans, dress shirt, bluetooth headset and loafers. Apparently, he was just out for a jaunt after church, Montana men are a rare, and manly breed. I was very impressed.

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