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CDT MT Section 7 Off-trail

Days 64-65: Up All Night

Day 64 and half of Day 65: Burbank

I woke up at 6 from a crazy dream of being lost in a dense, crowded, multilevel megalopolis, like if Manhattan were crossed with downtown Singapore. I was starving and immediately ate breakfast, then dozed off again and had some more big city dreams, waking up again just after 7. I skipped any extra morning repair work and hit the road around a quarter after 8.

I took a pause in the middle of a hill climb less than a mile later. Around a half an hour break to get myself in a better hiking state.

A few miles ahead, near the summit of Burnt Mountain, the trail briefly left the forest for a meadow with something like a view, and I paused to hop on the cell network to send a text to Weatherman (the same trail angel that gave me a ride last year) with my progress. I put my ETA at 5pm.

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CDT MT Section 7

Day 63: Burnt Mountain

I woke up at 6 and immediately ate breakfast. Then, I dozed off from 6:30 to 7, and woke again to do some more stitching on the Frankengloves. I suited up, packed up, and was on the road by 8:20.

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CDT MT Section 7

Day 62: Haggin WMA

As per usual, I woke at 6, went back to sleep until 7 because it was too cold. But I didn’t do any repair work first thing because instead I was researching whether I would take the official CDT route through the Haggin WMA, which I had no map for, or follow the pre-2015 roadwalk route. I had pretty well decided to go with the roadwalk just because the official route sounded slower and more difficult and the roadwalk was 7 miles shorter. But I did give myself some room to be convinced otherwise, since I didn’t really like the idea of walking down the side of the highway.

Anyway, that diaper rash feeling didn’t really clear up over night, and I was feeling a little bit sore down there even as I woke up. I started walking a little before 8:30, and felt great going up to the ridge where the long descent started, but just a few switchbacks down, I could already tell it was going to be a problem.

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CDT MT Section 7

Day 61: Goat Flat

I think I’m developing a bit of a morning routine. I woke up around six and heard the sounds of packing, but managed to doze until 7. Then right away, I set to repairs. A better patch job on my pump sack and another emergency glove repair from where I had ripped a finger open getting a loose seam caught in my tent zipper the night before.

I heard some packing from my neighbor as I was packing the inside of my tent. When I came out at 8, I saw he was the only one of the many people who had camped there who was left. And he was nearly packed. And so was I. In fact, I kept packing while we chatted and we left at nearly the same time.

It was a bit of a strain chatting because his English was very limited. I eventually got across the idea I wanted to know the water situation to the north, which confused him until he figured out I’m nobo. Eventually, I just asked what his native tongue was. He looked Chinese to me, but he said Japanese.

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CDT MT Section 7

Day 60: Warren Lake

I woke up at 6, then actually managed to doze off and get that elusive eighth hour of sleep, waking up at 7 to start the day. I noticed a couple of my toe nails needed trimming once I emerged from my sleeping bag and saw my bare feet in the light. I did that, and then went to put on my socks, only to notice they both had small holes at the toe seam–which might just have aligned with those toe nails that had needed trimming. So I took out the thread and darned them right up. Socks are mission critical, and repairs to them never wait, unlike my poor ragged gloves. Of which the right one made a tearing sound as I pulled it on–I’d ripped a stitch, and a whole long repair was going to come unraveled if I didn’t act immediately. So I got the thread back out. Sometimes gloves have emergencies too. By the time I finally got to a point I could leave my tent, my back was sore from sitting up inside it.

Even with all that extra work plus filtering the water I had hung from the tree before I could make breakfast, it’s a wonder I was able to leave camp by a quarter to nine.

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CDT MT Section 7

Day 59: Ridge Above Beaver Creek and East Fork Bitterroot Headwaters

I woke up around 6, decided that wasn’t a full night’s sleep, and slept in another hour. Or tried to. The attempt was interrupted by both an early morning shower that was brief but intense (and not at all reflective of the day’s weather) and my 6:30 alarm. And of course the dozing was uneasy with that constant nagging feeling there’s a mosquito inside–there were certainly dozens buzzing around under the rainfly. Around 7, I called it and started packing. I hiked out before 8:30, the sun still having not yet reached my tent right up to the moment I took it down and stowed it–a row of tall shaded the whole area.

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CDT MT Section 7

Day 58: Some Unnamed Meadows with Springs Feeding Johnson Creek

I woke up at the 6:30 alarm and decided to start the day with stitching up holes in the Frankengloves. After one repair on each glove, it was already a little after 7, so I decided the other 97 new holes and tears can wait. Buff sun gloves have high initial quality, but succumb to attrition quite rapidly. Soon they will contain more thread from my repairs than in the fabric they are made from.

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CDT MT Section 7 Off-trail

Days 56-57 Salmon Run

Day 56: Salmon

I was not in any particular hurry. I didn’t really start getting ready until a couple with a dog came walking through noisily talking about nothing. I didn’t really hear what they were saying, but I certainly couldn’t sleep through it. I think I woke up about 7, started packing about 7:30, and started hiking around 9.

I turned down the next road, but it turned it ran parallel to the highway. It was the continuation of the road I had been walking the previous evening, a formerly straight shot now interrupted to improve the intersection with route 43. There was no direct trail down to Lost Trail Pass.

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CDT MT Section 8

Meme #16

Things are probably getting hectic right about now in terms of getting places and arranging things, so here’s just a little something to ensure I don’t miss a day in the kerfuffle.

Comic copyright 2021 Kendra “Skunkbear” Allenby. @kendra_allenby on insta. http://kendraallenby.com

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CDT MT Section 8

Day 55: Chief Joseph Pass

I woke up before 6 feeling surprisingly well-rested for once. Also, there were far fewer mosquitos under my tent than the previous morning. Since my pack was already in the tent with me, I didn’t even have to unzip the tent to do most of my preparations. I got started hiking about 7:30.