Day 140: Two Medicine Ranger Station to East Glacier, MT, ~12 miles, ~2,612+ miles total
In 2011, we hiked some 900 miles of the PCT as “SOBOing NOBOs”. That is, we hiked a good chunk of the trail traveling southbound, but overall hiked most of the trail walking north. We had a couple of reasons for flip flopping on the PCT and the hike turned out beautifully. So now a little southbound travel feels like an important ritual to include in a long distance hike. We’d wondered if we’d get the chance to conveniently “flip a section” of the CDT.
Today, we SOBOed about 12 miles of the CDT for the sake of efficient access to huckleberry pie. We realized that it was logistically easier to take a shuttle up to the ranger station and then hike back to town. The CDT is conveniently routed close to several East Glacier restaurants. So why not walk back to town for a hot lunch and huckleberry pies instead of waiting for a shuttle or trying to hitch?
We had a few hours of beautiful hiking through clouds and frost. The trail south of Two Medicine Lake winds up to Scenic Point and showcases so much of what makes Glacier NP spectacular. Mountains changing color as bands of light broke through clouds to highlight the reds, purples, greens, and grays of steep eroding walls. Hanging valleys partially hidden by cloud and snow flurries. Rime on the bunch grasses, buckwheats, and flowers frosting the late summer vegetation in white crystals of ice and snow. Fantastic hiking. There is so much to look forward to in the coming miles.
The brisk day with a cold wind and snow accumulation also affirmed our plan to get back to town. A couple more miles walked have us content. We now realize we have less than 100 official trail miles to go.
Back in town. Hot tea and coffee. Bowls of warm, comforting soup. Six slices of pie. Good visits with beloved hikers, Birdie, Stumbling Beef, Pepper Flake, Soulshine, Ben, and Not So Bad. A day representing so much of what is fantistic about life on trail. A fine one and one of the last handful we have along the CDT.
Also a special thanks to our kind shuttle driver from Louisiana with a soothing story telling voice. We’ll remember our ride for a long time to come. We admired Rising Wolf all the way up to Scenic Point. Thank you.