INTO EAST GLACIER PARK
CDT Day 70: Mile 2884.6 – 2915.0 (30.4 miles – 48.6 km)
Tuesday June 25, 2019
We were keen to get away early so as to get out of the way of the rangers getting on with their day. We broke camp and were on our way at 5.30.
The sky was clear and even the moon was visible. Soon after leaving the ranger station sunrise was illuminating a few fluffy clouds a faint pink. It was the most welcomed start to the day. It was frosty but I felt giddy with excitement. It was going to be a bright, bright sunny morning.
As we headed out of the valley where we were camped the sun was beginning to hit the trail. So nice to finally take off our rain gear. First time in a week we’ve hiked without wearing our raingear and in full sunshine. Despite the 20 odd river crossings and the ice cold feet it was bliss. We took the South Fork Two Medicines River route to Highway 2 to avoid a 4 mile stretch of blowdowns. Southbound hikers we met told us it took them half a day to get through this section, risking life and limb.
It was beautiful to see the Glacier NP mountain peaks in the distance, framed by fields of wildflowers in front of us.
We stopped for lunch just before reaching the Highway crossing. We were passed by two of the rangers from last night returning with a team of pack mules to pick up more equipment. I thanked them for being so considerate to us last night. It was so good to see their dedication to their work animals and the efficient way they go about their work.
We reached the Highway after lunch and took the 12 mile roadwalk option to get into East Glacier Park. Our feet were warm and dry at last but otherwise it was the most unpleasant finish to a very challenging eight days on trail.
Reaching East Glacier Park was not the end to our challenges. Getting accomodation proved to be difficult, everything was booked out. The last place I rang, Brownies Bakery and Backpackers said they had a private room with a shower. Perfect I said, we’ll be there in 15 minutes. We walked half a mile out of town to arrive there and find they had just rented the room to someone else. I almost burst into tears, the poor girl who let the room scurried to find a solution. While we waited we considered our options.
We were dirty, hungry and exhausted. Hammer said let’s just resupply and keep hiking. I couldn’t face the prospect of heading back out without a shower and a break. Luckily we didn’t have to, we got a cabin at the place next door. A cabin sounds luxurious, this one wasn’t. It was two bunk beds in a space no bigger then a bathroom. Looks like the cabins may have been the bakery staff quarters. It will have to do.