Monday, August 24, 2015

Day 116: Macks Inn

8/15: mile 2041.3-18.8
Miles: 24
Total trip miles: 2088.5

Rest Stop leaves before me, the post office at Macks Inn closes at 2:30 and with over 20 miles to get there and I don't think I can make it on time. He has maps and shoes waiting and I'm hoping on a friendly postmaster who will let him pick up my box since he has my id, crossing my fingers.

The first bit of trail is rocky and the grass is soaked. My shoes are soaked from the plants within minutes, but a few miles later I'm officially out of Yellowstone walking on an old road that's now trail, bliss.

Then it's alternate time. The next real town stop is Lima, MT but as usual there are 2 ways to get there. Originally I was going to go straight from Old Faithful via Henry's Route but every single person I've talked to chose the Macks Inn route. Sitting at home with a pile of maps decisions are one thing, but it helps to be flexible out here, and Macks takes you straight through the town of Macks Inn with a post office and food and 2 miles later Sawtelle with more food. It wasn't a very hard decision.

I say goodbye to the CDT blazes and continue on an old road, 15 miles to town and 3 miles to the only water between Summit Lake and Macks.

It's all roads to Macks but all are not created equal. In Colorado if a road was closed to vehicles it was usually signed and sometimes filled with downed trees we had to climb over, but this place seems to like burms. Not as bad as I expected but still a pain in the butt.

But hey at least it's signed...

Magical spring of the day, wrong GPS but not too hard to find with the millions of rock cairns

Fish Creek Road is pretty sweet, in good condition probably because of the hordes of atv's that pass me. They all wave or stop to make sure I'm okay,it's a nice distraction. There are some clouds but it's hazy and I catch whiffs of smoke, I'm afraid to even start thinking about forest fires with over 900 miles left. There was plenty of lightning last night and I think Montana was pretty dry this season.

By the time I hit the paved road into Macks I'm dying. I'm cranky and tired and hurting. It's the first time I've been really tempted to take the rides offered by folks driving past. But I've stuck to the continuous footsteps thing this long so I trudge on.

Rest Stop is waiting at the laundromat, the post office let him get my stuff which is good and bad. I have new shoes but I spaced and forgot I sent about 1.5 pounds of extra gear ahead in case I wanted it, and I certainly don't. Oh well at least there's a post office I. The next town. We get ice cream and end up chatting with a woman who knows 2 hikers on the CDT this year and a few I knew on the PCT in 2012. More food then a 2 mile walk to Sawtelle where we resupply and I gawk at all the tourists. I hadn't realized we were at a gateway town for the west entrance to Yellowstone. I finally suck it up and we head just far enough outside of town to camp. What a day.

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