We woke a bit before 6am to get an early start on our day into town, I ate just about everything I had left, leaving myself just a few snacks for the 20+ mile day, it would suck, but you do what you gotta do!
The morning was still and our trail was a reformed old two-track. We soon came to a section that dipped in and out of the Two Medicine River; at first we tried to keep our shoes dry as the morning was cold and wet feet would make it that much colder, but soon we were out of options. The river was too wide to rock-hop, wet feet it is! And I was too lazy to put on my chacos. We were going to town! There would be time to dry out the shoes, so we just plowed through and kept on.
By late morning we crested the last little climb before a series of switchbacks would take us down to the highway that separated us from Glacier National Park. The sight of those mountains and the patches of snow lingering in the shadowy bits of rock made my heart soar. I felt the immensity of the CDT coming to a close, of the 7,000+ miles that make up a successful triple crown hike, of the years of my life I have spent walking across the country, and it all began to overflow. I gave in to the rising flood and let a few tears fall as I flew down the switchbacks to the end. It felt like flying.
Reaching the highway, Mountain Spice and I took a quick break and started hoofing it. We figured the road would be shorter, and being as hungry as we were, anything that would get us closer to filling our bellies was what we would do.
About 4 miles down the road a woman from a trailhead called to us; we made our way down and upon learning of our plight, offered us the rest of her lunch: 3+ pounds of turkey, 2 different kinds of cheeses, a bag of tortilla chips, and 4 cans of soda water. OMG, bliss!!! We sat down right there by their car and began our picnic lunch. Lunches of all lunches. We giggled as we stuffed our faces and our new trail angels surely thought we were strange.
Once we had eaten so much we could barely move, we stood up to hike the remaining miles to town. The rush wasn’t so urgent anymore, but now the hunger was replaced with the need to sit down and not get up again.
We rolled into East Glacier and immediately spotted Sam outside a cafe. Hmmm, a cafe? Maybe I should have some pie….we went in to find Delightful and Funk waiting on their lunch, so promptly sat down and ordered some pie and ice cream. Much of our goal in the last town stop of the trail is to eat as much as possible. It’s our last week to eat with abandon, and after feeling that we were hungry most of the last stretch, this was a dream come true….literally.
We then lumbered over to the Backpackers Inn, a hostel behind a mexican restaurant (hmmm, dinner?) and got the bathing and laundering out of the way before meeting Sam, Picker and a few of Picker’s friends for dinner at said mexican restaurant.
NOW our bellies were unhappy with us and we retired to our bunks to horizontally digest what had been an epic day of eating.
Tomorrow: eat as much as we can.