CDT Day 65: Mile 2751.5 -2773.5 (22 miles – 35 km)

Thursday June 20, 2019

A campsite by Dearborne River was our home for the night. The sound of rushing water, birds chirping, woodpecker hammering made an industrious sound as we packed up. It was surprisingly cold as we set off. The trail followed Dearborne River for the first 10 miles crossing the river several times as well as numerous creeks feeding into it. We didn’t keep our feet dry for long. Some creeks could be crossed on a log or a rock hop but we had to get our feet wet for the criss-crossing of the river.

Despite the sometimes slow water crossing we covered a reasonable distance by mid-morning when we stopped at an unoccupied ranger station. Within minutes the skies darkened and a snow storm descended. What luck I thought we has some cover on the porch of the ranger station. While waiting for the storm to pass we had an early lunch and filtered water. The storm did not last and patches of blue sky soon appeared.

We left the ranger station for the last crossing of Dearborne River which was nearby. The river was wide and braided with lots of fallen trees across it. And just as we started to log hop, quite suddenly the sky darkened and another snow storm descended. This time it was much heavier then previously. We stopped mid-crossing and waited for the storm to pass. It didn’t last all that long.

About an hour later a third and quite heavy snow storm arrived. We had our heads down to avoid being pelted by shards of ice and missed a turnoff and went off trail for about 15 minutes. So annoying. There was no more blue sky after this passed. It was so cold, I was getting an ice cream type headache from breathing in the cold air.

When I wasn’t anxious about the numerous creek and river crossing I noticed the trailside vegetation. Not as prolific as the past few days but still quite beautiful especially after the storm. It was lovely to see the first wild roses in bloom. And hillsides of my all time favourite, bear grass.

We crossed over Elbow Pass and descended to yet another river valley following the South Fork Sun River. The trail had evidence of recent grizzly activity with fresh scats and lots of prints. We were keen to get some distance before setting up camp. It was hard to find a campsite as this valley was mainly skeletons of burnt pine trees with very little live pine forest. We stopped at the first live trees we found and set up the tent just as it started to rain. Hard to believe that it’s the official start of summertime tomorrow.