START: Storm Lake Rd (stealth camp five miles before lake)
FINISH: Eight miles after Chief Joseph Pass.
DISTANCE: 90 miles (144.8 km)
DAILY AVERAGE: 30 miles (48.3 km)
TOTAL DISTANCE: 529 miles (851.2 km)
Anaconda-Pintler: From Storm lake to Surprise lake, the scenery in the Anaconda-Pintler Wilderness was sublime. Craggy granite peaks, meandering streams, alpine lakes, glacier carved valleys and magnificent cirques (Mother Nature’s amphitheaters). After Glacier NP, my favourite section of the CDT so far.
Surprise Lake: Had a late lunch and post meal dip in the chilly waters. Gorgeous mountain-rimmed setting. Felt reborn afterwards. Swimming in alpine lakes would have to be one of my favourite parts of backpacking.
Breakfast at Sula: Met up with Nancy (trail name “Why Not”), Eric and Lina for breakfast at Sula. Nancy and I first met in the Olympic Peninsula last year and have kept in touch ever since. She is hiking northbound, and upon reaching the Canadian border will complete her Triple Crown (AT, PCT & CDT). Funnily enough I had also met Eric earlier this year whilst hiking the Southwestern Horseshoe. He was heading northbound on the AZT at the time. As with Nancy, he will become a ‘Triple Crowner’ after finishing the CDT. The long distance hiking community is indeed a small one! Great catching up with you guys & best of luck on the rest of your journey.
Two Long Days and a Short One: I ended up having an unplanned Nero in Sula (only 13 miles hiked). A combination of bad luck on the hitching front (it took me two hours to catch a ride from Chief Joseph Pass), meeting up with old friends, making new ones (Boat and I had a wide ranging conversation, which included the books Born to Run and the Lord of the Rings Trilogy) and if truth be told, my old legs probably needed a bit of a rest as well.