Finally heading out to hike the CDT in a few hours. It's been quite the roller coaster ride the last few days in town. My box with my ice axe, bear spray, and hiking poles never arrived. Thankfully, a fellow sothbounder named "Hawk" was just getting ready to send both his ice axe and bear spray home yesterday when I happened to bump into him as I was leaving the post office feeling dejected. He let me borrow both items!Thanks Hawk!!! I owe you a beer!
As luck would have it, I decided on a whim to go get my permits yesterday morning at Two Medicine before I bumped into Hawk. Everything feels like quite the chore, but I guess I better get used to it. As I was getting my permits for the first leg through Glacier, I stepped outside to take some pictures of the amazing scenery. It was incredibly windy and somewhat stormy. I had a ziploc bag filled with all of my Montana town and resupply data. I put the bag on a bench while I took a picture. Next thing I know, I heard a rustling sound, and turned around horrified as I watched all of my papers blowing across the parking lot into the nearby meadow and woods. My heart sank, and the first thing that popped in my head was "There goes my hike..." Thankfully, a family quickly jumped into action. the mother ordered her kids to help pick up the pages. I attempted to grab a few, and each time I almost grabbed one, a wind gust blew the page further from reach, like a slap in the face. The kids had jingle bells tied to their legs, bear bells I assume, and ran after and secured every page that had flown out of the bag! Thank you ananonymous family!!! I learned a very valuable lesson. It's crazy how these small mistakes can really add up over time. I've got to be more careful and vigilant with everything.
While hanging out in town, I've met some great people, as well as a few southbound CDTers. I spent my first night with a few "youngsters" right out of college who are working for a tour company in the park. A young woman named Jenny invited me out to dinner with her friends. I had a great time, the food and company were excellent. After dinner, we all walked around town and later sat around the room of the hostel drinking wine and telling stories. Thank you Jenny!!! I also met southbounders Sage and Smoke. Sage also goes by the name Burney. Burney shared some incredible knowledge and insight while we sat in the comforts of the East Glacier Lodge. I hope to run into the couple again, but they seem to be fast hikers. Burney is finishing his second triple crown. Smoke has already finished her triple crown as well. I also met Hawk, who I mentioned before, Bluefoot, and Challenger. I hope to see all of these guys again later on down the line, but who knows? The trail is strange that way, there is a good chance I will never see any of them again.
Weather is improving. It actually felt somewwhat warm outside this morning. Can't wait to get out there. I am definitely nervous and anxious, the mountains look very intimidating. Glad to get out of East Glacier though. Happy Trails!