CDT day 71: out of Leadore, back into the mountains

July 14
Mileage: 25
1301.5 miles hiked

I sleep so goood behind the library in Leadore, on the concrete sidewalk under the overhang. I pack up slow and we sit outside the general store, warming in the sun. Once it opens Spark and Track Meat buy wonderful gas station breakfast- sausage blueberry pancake “corndogs”, apple fritters, taquitos. Benjamin stands at the roadside hitching, and an older man comes out of his house and offers all four of us a ride up to the pass. Sweet.

We start hiking at 10 a.m.- epic climb onto the ridge of the bitterroots, thunderclouds rumbling overhead, exposure! But then the storm blows over and is gone. I feel relatively good today- still waiting to hear back about my test results. After the long climb onto the waving-grass sagebrush ridge there is up and down, up and down for the rest of the day, mountains visible on both sides, weather. I eat a lot of snacks.

Camp is next to a lake- the sky clouds again, the cold comes. We all eat beans and Spark and Track Meat play Magic. A couple of hikers arrive- my god, company! Kathleen, who’s hiking this section northbound, and Treeboo- he started May 20 and then flipped up after finishing Colorado.

“You must be hiking fast,” I say. “What’s your average so far?” Every day I care less about these things but still, it’s fun to meet the really fast people.

“Oh just 37,” he says.


He’s an ultra-runner, trying to finish the trail in 92 days. He has no toenails. He’s super friendly.

I am not an ultra-runner- I’m just a mere mortal, out here putzing along. I eat my cold refried beans and fart myself to sleep.

Photos on instagram