Many Glacier CS(2814)-Kootenai Lakes CS(2841.6)
Campsite Elevation: 4,437ft
Today was our next to last day on trail and it was also our last bug mileage day. We had 27.6mi to do and that is a lot, but it was still a relaxed pace compared to the mileage we had been doing most of the hike. Kathleen got us off to a great start by providing breakfast for me, Bloodbath, and Rampage at her campsite. She’s been following her son Dain along the trail for at least a month now, and we have all felt like we have a trail mom. It’s just been wonderful to get to know her and have her be a part of all our hikes. Our wonderful breakfast included cereal, oatmeal, bagels…and chocolate milk and Oreos for me and Rampage! When else is it okay to drink chocolate milk and half a sleeve of Oreos…for breakfast!? I have to admit that this aspect of thru hiking is one of my favorites and I’m indulging in my favorite junk foods in these final days. We started hiking around 7:30am and headed up and over Swiftcurrent Pass. Along the way, we spotted some moose in a lake and a curious one even came within 10yds of us.
Swiftcurrent Pass is a popular area and we saw many other day hikers and backpackers today. The scenery going over the pass was just perfect and the trail had nice, wide, gradual switchbacks.
Bloodbath noticed that he and Rampage’s camera battery had run out and they needed it charged for our big final day tomorrow. Their battery usually lasts through a leg, but in Glacier we’ve been taking more pictures and video than we have on any other leg. There was a chalet just off the trail a bit at the top of the pass, so Bloodbath went that way hoping to charge the camera while Rampage and I hiked on knowing he’d catch up. We have still have yet to see a grizzly bear and there was a ton of fresh scat on trail, so our eyes were peeled. Practically everyone who goes to Glacier has at least one bear sighting, and we are really wanting to see one…from a safe distance. Just before lunch, Bloodbath caught up to us after running over an hour on the trail. He tends to hike in front and soon after his return, we rounded a corner and a grizzly was there! It was on trail eating berries and bolted as Bloodbath rounded the corner leaving me to only see a blurred piece of fur going into the thick brush down below the trail. Bloodbath got a good look at him and said he was big. Me and Rampage were pretty disappointed because we were so aware and had Bloodbath been just a few minutes later, we could have seen it ourselves. So close! We had our last lunch together and I had an extra Mountain House from my friend Heart that I got to eat. Plus, Oreos and Doritos of course. My final on trail lunch!
The second half of the day seemed to drag. It sprinkled for half an hour and thankfully stopped. It was pretty humid and thankfully overcast, so it wasn’t too hot. We spend many miles hiking along the popular Highline Trail. It was definitely high and we were fully entertained by the far reaching views.
There were many miles with more thick brush over the trail as we came off the Highline Trail and dipped back down into the valley. The good news was that the views were great despite the overgrown trail!
We were at camp by 6:15pm and just one other couple is camped here tonight at Kootenai Lakes. It is a small, but beautiful lake and the camp area is surrounded by deep brush and forest ideal for bears…tomorrow is our last chance to spot one, so maybe it will happen.
We enjoyed our final dinner together(I had my favorite, spaghetti, from my friend Cowpie. THANKS Cowpie! We listened to the rest of the final episode of the original radio series of Hitchiker’s Guide To The Galaxy.
Since there is extra space, we get to spread out and each have our own campsite, which is really nice for the final night!
It hasn’t really hit me yet that tomorrow is the last day. It just feels like a regular day so far. Somehow, Bloodbath and Rampage’s camera was left on during dinner and it drained the camera again! After all the effort Bloodbath made to charge it. We are going to to what we can to share my camera tomorrow, so they have plenty of finishing photos. I’m falling asleep as I type tonight and am just drained, so I’m sorry I am unable to reflect more tonight. I’m sure it will really hit me tomorrow. It is lightly raining now…I just hope it gets it all out of its system now so tomorrow morning is clear! Our plan is to sleep in as we only have 7mi to go to get to Canada! So excited!