BEAVERHEAD NATIONAL FOREST
CDT Day 88: 13.5 miles/21 km
CDT Mile 733.5 – 747.0
Saturay July 13, 2019
What an amazing treat to have a freshly baked blueberry muffin with my coffee this morning. Simply delicious. We are excited to be heading into town today. And we only have a relatively short distance to hike before we get to the trailhead.
The aid station for the Beaverhead 100k race was set up about 100 yards from where we camped last night. I was hoping they’d be up and about when we left this morning but they were just beginning to stir when we walked past.
It was a lovely warm morning, even though we were camped at 9,200 feet. It really is summertime in Montana (and Idaho). This morning the trail left the jeep track we’d been hiking on most of yesterday afternoon and we were on single file trail. Great I thought, stepping aside for 200 runners coming towards us. It was beautiful watching the day come alive and the sunrise light up the mountains.
I was calculating how long it would take the front runners and the bulk of the pack to come through. They started at the same time we did at 5am. And just as I though 6.30am the first runner came by and from then on it was a steady progression. We stepped aside and cheered the runners. It was great fun and before we knew the last runner had gone by.
Our trail undulated and half way up the last rise before we reached Bannock Pass we met up with the race sweepers. We chatted to them for a while and one offered us a beer from his truck parked at the next road-trail crossing.
We reached his truck at breakfast time. And yes we did have a beer for breakfast. It was a treat.
After breakfast we had only 5 more miles to reach Bannock Pass. But before we could get there the sky darkened, temperature dropped and a thunderstorm with streaks of lightening was building over the mountains to the west. We picked up our pace and made the carpark at Bannock Pass just as the rain started.
And we were in luck, the rain did not last long. And the fellow who delivered the Porta -pottys for the race was picking them up. He said he could give us a ride to Leadore (pronounced Le Door) as soon as he finished loading the porta pottys on his trailer. Hammer gave him a hand and within 15 minutes we were on our way. We felt so lucky, hikers have reported waiting for 3 hours to get a ride from this location.
We got into Leadore, 13 miles from the trailhead just after 11am. The Leadore Inn was fully booked but we could put up a tent in the yard and get a room tomorrow. That will have to do. There is one general store in town. We got a few groceries to keep us going till we can pick up our resupply parcel from the Post Office on Monday. The thunderstorm and heavy rain came and went most of the afternoon.