A very short hike brought me to Butte, for resupply.
Although we’d planned on leaving camp around 7, none of us were up that early.
Comments in my trail guide show we’re quickly approaching the end of the hiking season in Montana. In Glacier National Park, at the north end of the trail, one of the campground stores has already closed, with another closing this weekend. This closes two of the possible resupply points in Glacier. More worrisome is the report that many bridges are being pulled up the last week of September (to prevent damage from snow and ice, or springtime flooding as the snow starts melting).
Recon, Sprouts, Velveeta, and I left our campsite a little after 8. We were greeted with the same smoke in the air as we have over the past couple of days.
We had a very short “hike” today, about two miles, following a dirt road out of the forest. We crossed halfway through a valley that was probably used as farmland, ending ending just after crossing under I-15.
Hitching into town was surprisingly easy. After about ten minutes, we got picked up by a hunter, Jeremy, whom I think decided to go out of his way to take us into town.
The highway passed by the Berkeley Pit, an open pit copper mine. The mine is now closed, and the pit about half-filled with highly polluted water (so much so that at one point, copper was mined directly from the water).
Jeremy dropped us off at Hanging Five, where we ordered a fantastic breakfast. Bass, Stumblebee, and Wild Man joined us a bit later.
We walked to the Days Inn that Stumblebee et al had gotten a room at, and hung out for a while, before going to Pizza Ranch (an all-you-can-eat pizza buffet) for lunch. On our way there, we surprisingly happened to pass Jeremy.
After I was done with lunch, I walked down to the Walmart to do my resupply, and stopped at an outfitter on the way back to the Days Inn to see if I could find a water filter. (Unfortunately, I didn’t find what I was looking for.)
The rest of the group all stayed in the room Stumblebee had gotten yesterday; seven people felt a bit overcrowded for me, so I got my own room.
We got dinner at Dickey’s Barbeque Pit, near the hotel. We went in shortly before closing, so they were out of almost everything. But, they gave us an extremely good deal on what they did have, and it was all delicious food.
Joining us for dinner was Rockhound, whom I last saw the day I left Lake City, CO. He’d gotten off-trail due to injury, and was hanging out around Butte for a few days before he needed to be elsewhere. He generously offered to give us a ride back to the trailhead tomorrow.
Although I only hiked two miles today, it wasn’t very relaxing at all, mostly because I had to walk several miles in the hot sun to get lunch and do my resupply. Tomorrow, we’ll head out for a four day stretch to Helena.