I had a curious deer harassing me all night, other than the fact that he didn’t seem scared of me in the slightest, I guess I was grateful he was around because that meant no bigger preditors were lurking!
As I was almost done packing up in the morning, G Funk came around the corner. He had camped a short distance back, and it was good to see him again. I finished packing up as he hiked on, I knew I would see him again soon, we often leapfrog each other on the trail or take breaks together…and sure enough when I reached the top of the first climb he was just starting down the other side.
We had A TON of climbing today…it was something like 6 major climbs from start to finish; none of them were super steep, but many were long and drawn out. We took lunch at the beautiful Warren Lake, at the top of one such climb. The water was surrounded by cliffs and pines, and was one of the more scenic views of the section.
Of course the trail whet down again, and then up where I found almost at the top of Cutthroat Pass that thunderheads had formed. I began to walk quickly to the top of the pass so I could drop down to the other side. Rain started, the first rain we’ve had in a while, all the while thunder sounding in the distance. I hope this doesnt mean more fires!
The storm was short lived though, and soon I was walking under blue skies once again. Phew.
At the top of Rainbow Pass I found I had reception and talked to Kirk for a few minutes before starting down the switchbacks on the other side.
I had been planning on camping at a small lake nearby, but the smoke seemed to be getting thicker and thicker. One, the smoke likes to settle in the valleys for the night, and two, maybe the lightening did start something new? I looked at my map and decided to hike a few miles further to a higher spot that would be more out of the smoke, but would also offer somewhere to go in case there was a fire. Up! On the rocky mountains!
I found camp just shy of a saddle in a clump of trees right at the Anaconda cut off route that I’ll be taking in the morning. Lets hope there are no new fires, everyone has enough as it is!