Campsite Elevation: 7,598ft
The plan was for Rampage and I to get the shuttle van from the motel at 9am this morning. The motel’s owner got a flat tire and we ended up getting on trail by 10am. Rampage and I are going to get a head start on the boys this leg because Rampage’s new shoes didn’t come in the mail again and they are due to arrive today. Bloodbath is going to wait for the shoes to come between 3pm-4pm and then he and the other “mohawk boys” are going to do big miles to hopefully catch us tomorrow night or the next day. The guys are really excited about getting to do big miles and it is cute to see. If you missed yesterday’s blog, you’ll see that they even got matching mohawks. AquaMan and Bloodbath are wanting to do 40+ mile days whereas Dain and Sweet As may leave around lunch today and do mid 30s. Basically, we have a 7hr head start and the boys think this will be fun to do big miles to catch up to us. Rampage and I just hope they are tired when they catch us so we don’t have to hike so hard to keep up with them. There is a shoe tree of old shoes at the motel and Rampage was able to find a pair she can use for a couple of days that were slightly better than her old and worn out ones. We hope they get her through until the guys catch up with her new shoes.
The hiking today was easy to navigate. We started off with a nice 7mi road walk.
We met three more southbounders on the road, and again they were really nice. They said they were toward the back, so we may only see a handful more. There are supposed to have been around 90 Nobos and less than 30 SOBOs this year. After the road walking the rollercoaster along the Divide started. The trail follows the winding and hilly border of Montana and Idaho. Most of our day looked like this, which was easy to follow because there is a fence that runs along the border of the two states.
There is a ton of elevation change as the trail is constantly changing from one steep direction to another. The terrain was lumpy and uneven, so that slowed us a bit. What really slowed us down was the wind today, oh man! It was really strong the whole time we were on the Divide for 14mi. As if the ups and downs weren’t enough, we had the added exhaustion of strong constant wind blowing us sideways or straight back. Here is Rampage on one of the steep uphills.
In this next one, you can see how the trail goes over multiple hills as it head uphill and to the right.
Our goal was to make it to the water 21mi in and to camp around there. Cherry Picker got dropped off when we did and opted not to do the first section of road walking. We never caught up to him as he camped past the water source. We hoped to do more miles, but the combination of everything made for slow progress and we made it to the water source by 7:45pm. The clouds moved in and distant lightning has flashed as we ate dinner and got the tent set up. Until Bloodbath catches up, Rampage and I are going to share their tent and shared quilt. So far, so good…I just don’t want it to rain! We found a great spot up a hill from the trail where we will hopefully stay dry and protected if it rains overnight. I’m tuckered out and hopefully going to sleep well tonight!