CDT Part 2–Bob Marshall and Scapegoat Wildernesses

Immediately after leaving GNP the CDT begins to feel more wild. Maybe it was all in my head, maybe it really was. This is where I start to really feel like I’m on a thru-hike. 

Me, Ninja, and Wayward got a ride to the trailhead from East Glacier Village. We were out at the highway with our thumbs out, figuring we’d get a ride soon. A public transit bus pulls over in front of us. Weird. 

The bus driver was nice and acted as if everything was normal, asking “Where are y’all headed?”

“Marias Pass,” we responded. 

“Great, come on in.”

We didn’t have to pay a fair or anything. 

He drops us off at the pass and even lets another passenger take his dog out to go pee. 

And now we’re hiking. We’ve heard there were lots of dead trees that fell over in the wind, blocking the trail out here. Blowdowns. We quickly found some. 

We also heard there were some horse trails that were a little more maintained since horses can’t climb over blowdowns. When we saw the junction to that horse trail we took it. 

That trail crossed a river something like 20 times but didn’t have a single tree blocking it. We’ll take that trade off for now. 

After 20 more river crossing and wet shoes for the next 2 days, I was a little ready to climb over some blowdowns. We took a wrong turn, too. And, that wrong turn took us a couple miles out of the way. 

We made it back to the trail and were on the right path again. Back on the official CDT, we hiked on. Downed trees. Okay, let’s try another alternate. The next one seemed pretty good until it wasn’t.

That was the trail for the next 10 miles. I never thought leaves could be that sharp. 

After bushwacking along a “trail” all afternoon we were back on the CDT with tiny slices all over our legs. 

And it got better from there. Like, actually better. Real trail to follow and beautiful views. 

We took another alternate. The CDT is full of alternates, this one was called the Spotted Bear alternate. It went over 2 passes instead of just one and had epic views. But, the second half did have a lot of downed trees. Oh, well, we knew we couldn’t avoid them all. 

We got past the downed trees as we got to the top of Spotted Bear Pass. And there it was, the Chinese Wall. It stretched on for miles, 12 to be exact. 

And I’ll leave you with a few more pictures and a cliffhanger. The CDT gets even beautiful. 

But the post office is opening soon and I have a 25 mile water carry to get past today with a hole in my leg. 

The hole is healing, it happened on the last day of this 7 day stretch through the Bob Marshall and Scapegoat Wildernesses. A downed tree speared my thigh pretty deep climbing over what turned out to be the last downed tree on that whole stretch. But, after spending almost 2 days in town and some advice from my nurse sister I’m ready to go hike another few days. 

Happy trails. 

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