Archives for July 2015

Continental Divide Trail #18: Anaconda Range, MT

The coldest, wettest, most windy and one of the most beautiful sections of the CDT so far was the Anaconda mountain range in central Montana. I could see the mountains were socked in on my long drive to Butte in drenching rain. 
Porter made it, although I had my own challenges meeting him days later at the Storm Lake Trailhead–a long solitary drive through mud and deep puddles on the most winding boulder-strewn road I’ve been on so far.

Here’s Porter’s hiking buddy, Problem Bear, as they head up into the storm.

Sleeting rain continued after the snow stopped. Soaked through and in danger of hypothermia, they found a fire pit and carefully built a fire to warm up. They made sure it was completely out before they hiked on.

They had to climb as many as four passes in one day.

Meanwhile, Amber got the inside poop from Kathleen Meyer, author of the international best-seller (more than 2.5 million copies) How to Shit in the Woods.

Continental Divide Trail #17: The Bitterroot Mountains!

Porter is now climbing a succession of passes that straddle the Continental Divide between Idaho and Montana–Bannock, Lemhi, Big Hole, Chief Joseph and many others. It’s rough going, lots of challenges with navigation and thunderstorms . 
I drive up steep mountain roads to meet him for resupply.

This is a typical drive for me. I dropped off Porter at the top of Lemhi Pass, then drove a long way down on the dirt road that follows the Lewis and Clark Trail.

Sacajawea, who accompanied the Lewis and Clark Expedition as guide and interpreter, and her baby, Jean Baptiste, had a photo-op with Amber.

Over the course of his twenty-plus miles a day, Porter hikes above and below clouds and through wildflowers.

Continental Divide Trail #16: Idaho!

We’ve completed Wyoming, and are now on the Idaho sections of the Continental Divide Trail!

We celebrated with dinner on the Snake River.

IDTwo hikers are safer than one, especially in grizzly country (see bear spray on Porter’s belt). Porter hikes now with David Breinke (trail-name Problem Bear). Here they are at the CDT border of Wyoming and Idaho.

    Porter in the Centennial Range of Idaho

Amber resorts to therapy from the bedpost bear at Angler’s Lodge. “This is my nineteenth hotel since we started March 26th! ‘Where the hell are we going now?’ I ask Gail when she puts me in my plastic travel bag. We load the car and drive forever on rocky dirt roads looking for Porter on top of mountains. If we get a flat tire, I’ll probably have to change it! We take Porter to our next town for his resupply. I introduce myself to the hotel staff, find out where they keep the cookies, and do Porter’s laundry. After that I need a drink. Pink wine.”

Continental Divide Trail #15: Yellowstone!

From Togwotee Pass through Grand Teton National Park and Yellowstone, we’ve met wonderful people and seen amazing sights.
Here I pick up Porter, as well as thru-hiker David Breinke (trail-name Problem Bear), at a trailhead for rides to their respective resupplies.

mapPorter plans his hiking route through Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks.

He goes through his bags of resupplies to repack his breakfasts, lunches, snacks, and dinners, almost two pounds of high-energy healthy food a day for the next several days.

One of our favorite parts of Yellowstone was the Black Sand Basin, with its geothermal pools, hot springs, and geysers. 

“Hotcha Mama!” Amber said of Old Faithful. “I’m sure it wants a selfie with me!”