Oooookay. Long day. We began by hitting Lincoln, Montana. The town where they found the unibomber. We passed through here to get to climbing our tallest pass yet. We reached the peak of the pass, only to realize we had went slightly off track and we were on top of the wrong pass... We dug out the map and mapped out a trail to get back to the correct pass. We continued to climb until we reached an unmapped fork. Long story short, we ascended and descended steep unbikeable trails for about 4 hours and finally realized we were s.o.l. On the bright side, we found some spectacular sites we would not have otherwise seen. Most notably, we climbed to the summits of all summits around to a lookoff named Granite Butte (presumably for forest fires or something??). At this point we were over the tree line at 2200m. It was a really neat spot. It really gave us an understanding of the effect the Continental Divide has on the regional climate (If I can remember correctly, Ms. Sheridan says this is the 'rain shadow effect' or something like that). On the western facing side of the divide (where we had been most of the trip), the large mountains and hills were filled with trees and humidity. On the eastern side we were finally exposed to the famed plains of Montana. These are massive rolling hills the go on forever. It is really hard to understand the scale of these things as there is no vegetation to compare them against.
We ended up just backtracking and hitting the highway to a small town called Canyon Creek on the east side of the divide. This small town was actually visible from the lookoff and was tucked in amidst the rolling hills. The weather was much more arid here as there was actually no moisture to be found on our tent flies in the morning. This was awesome - no airing out necessary.
Both G and C are now suffering from Irritable Packing Syndrome (IPS) and are sick and tired of packing all the gear up in the morning.
hope there's no fires
Wrong route numero uno
lookoff facing west
after a long, long, hike
The periodic table of Montana
and again, at sunset.