I made the coffee so strong this morning that I was jittery for the first mile of the trail…which probably helped me get up the big climb of the day. The day, though, would be short. We had places to be! Things to wash!
We walked by the beautiful Ethan Pond and into the state park after the quick morning and there was Carrie! She met us on the trail with a zip lock for each of us: small bar of soap, small shampoo and conditioner bottles, and enough quarters for a 10 minute shower. What a fabulous welcome, but even better, it was so good to see my friend again.
We walked into a campsite where Retread, the amazing trail angel that made this rendezvous happen, is parked with his camper, and I met the nobo slack packers of the hour: #2 Pencil and Nightingale.
So, let’s see if I get the story right: #2 and Nightingale met Retread last year when another hiker held a gathering to talk about prepping for the trail. Retread has been following the two hiker’s progress as they made their way north (hiking separately I believe) and offered to angel them when they got north. Well, they got north, so the three decided on a 4-day slack pack session where Retread would hold down the fort at the campground and drive them up and back to the trail each day. They would hike 10-20 miles and come back to the campground for rest and pampering each night. Carrie had just gotten off trail, but since meeting #2 (and the two of them hitting it off) had wanted us all to meet, and we thought when #2 and I crossed paths would be the chance. Sooooo, here we are! Our paths converge, Carrie and Retread connected and he brought her here. The two nobos will get some miles in, NEMO will get picked up tomorrow, and I get to see Carrie again and meet #2! It’s amazing all these moving parts came together 😃
We walk in, I make a beeline for the showers and emerge fresh as a dew drop. I was wearing some loner clothes so I didn’t have to put my stanky ones back on and soon we were lunching on a picnic table with a table cloth on it. Classy! Retread is an amazing host and has thought of everything. I’m grateful they have welcomed us into their well orchestrated camping trip.
After lunch we decide its laundry time and all load up into Retread’s truck. We find a place in Rutland called Washbucklers (I chose it for the name). Once we accomplished that mission it was food time, both for consuming and resuppling.
Mountain Spice, a 2015 CDT hiker I met and hiked through some of northern Montana with, joined us for dinner at the Yellow Deli, an infamous restaurant run by a religious community. We feast, and then do a haphazard resupply (I hadn’t figured out where I was going next or what I needed) where I basically just tossed things I like to eat in the cart.
Back at camp we managed a short hang out sesch before hiker midnight struck, and we were all tucked in, lulled to sleep by the two busy highways rumbling almost next to our ears.