Two Weeks In
Here I sit in the Historic Hotel Lincoln, in Lincoln Montana. We camped just north of Rodgers pass last night, and with an early start we made it down to the road to hitch hike into town. We made it in by 8:30am, the ideal way to make use of a day in town. We wasted no time getting a hotel room, and relished a nourishing breakfast. The day has been spent relaxing in bed watching copious amounts of tv. The muscles are going through some much needed mending and restructuring as we take this time of rest.
So how have things been? Beautiful, Challenging, Exhausting, Frustrating, Enlightening, Ass Kicking, Awe Inspiring, Painful, Scary, and so much more! This is the beauty of something like a long distance hike, it really shows you all parts of yourself, and the world around you. If you have any illusions of who you really are, it will help to strip every layer of that away until you can't help but face all that you are.
Glacier National Park
Starting out our journey in Glacier National Park is both awe inspiring and boot camp all at once. Since we did no training at all for this hike, I knew that it would take a good couple of weeks for the body to really get into hiking shape, but it always does. Thankfully Glacier over all is great terrain that proves to be pretty easy to navigate. There were a couple points that proved to be a bit slow and challenging, but it is those moments that make us realize just how strong we really are.
It is a little odd to start out a journey like the Continental Divide Trail in a National Park. One of the main things that we so cherish about being on a long distance hike is the pure and untethered connection that we get to experience with nature, and the opportunity to remove ones self from all the fear based rules that society has tied itself up in. I am so very pleased that our National Parks are here for people to experience the beauty of some of the amazing places our country is blessed to have. I am saddened that they also adopt a long list of rules and laws to impose on all who choose to enter their borders. I understand where many of these rules and regulations have developed from, but I also find them to be frustrating and so limiting to the nature experience. This always feels like a little bit of an uncomfortable leash to lash around our necks as we start a journey that is designed to unleash all that holds us back from being truly free and living the most vibrant life possible.
But beyond some of the minor frustrations experienced from becoming part of their system for a week, we really had a great experience through this gem of a park. It really is a sanctuary for a wide array of wildlife, and we got to see our fair share of our furred and feathered friends along the way. We saw several moose along the length of the park, I don't know if I have ever seen an animal that is able to be so awkward and graceful looking at the same time. We have marveled at so many groups of Mountain Goats over these 2 weeks that work like professional acrobats on the sheer cliffs of the mountains that surround us daily. To watch how they are so naturally able to tip toe along the edge of crumbling stone ledge that is hundreds if not thousands of feet from flat ground, or to watch two kid goats play on a steep snow field that would most likely have me half frozen with fear is just amazing to me. Two separate groups of 3 Big Horn Sheep rams greeted us at the top of two different passes. Talk about an animal that truly likes to be on top of the world! I feel truly blessed to have had the opportunity to watch a Grizzly Bear browsing on spring greens from about a hundred yards away as the sun slowly lowered itself into the grasp of the mountains towering above us. I simply marvel at the wonder of the stunning creatures that share this earth with us. How can we be so fearful of these amazing beings that we are willing to kill them for no other reason than fearing the wildness that they represent?
After making it through the park, two nights off in East Glacier gave the body a much needed time of relaxation, and allowed us to wait out a couple of storms that rolled through the area.
The Bob Marshal & Scapegoat Wildernesses
The Bob Marshall Wilderness is the less known sibling to Glacier. With some similar terrain, and stunning land marks of its own, it is an area that is well worth visiting! Containing less rules and regulations, and is experienced by more horseback riders, it has it's own unique Montana feel to it. The Chinese Wall is an immense formation that is well worth seeing once in your life, if not more!
We finally kicked our mileage up to 23-30 miles a day through these two areas. My feet and legs have been complaining as I go through the process of re-building the fine tuned muscles that it takes to experience those miles on various terrain day after day. It really is stunning to feel your body get into optimum shape after several weeks of hiking. By the end of one of these long distance hikes one finally understands just what the human body is designed to do. We are meant to be passionate, strong, healthy beings in all that we do.
As we moved through the Scapegoat Wilderness we watched our terrain shift as we moved out of the jagged mountains and into the more rolling terrain of the mountains and hills we will be hiking along for a while to come. Now wee hike along the Continental Divide itself for a while, admiring the fact that one day we are drinking water that will flow to the Pacific, and the next we are drinking water that flows to the Atlantic.
Tomorrow we continue our journey south. The next town stop will be Anaconda. Perhaps an update will be published while we are there!
Today we start our summer adventure. This morning I have spent packing up all of my hiking gear, and in a couple of hours we will be on Amtrak headed for East Glacier, Montana. After a day spent with a friend there we will be setting foot upon the Continental Divide Trail, starting a five month journey of being immersed in nature!
I hope to have the opportunity to do updates along the way, and share with everyone the beauty and magic that we have been experiencing along the way.
I thought I would address one of the most common questions I am asked when we are on such a journey. People often ask me how we can afford to take so much time off from work to do something like this. The truth of the matter is that I take time off from my life to work when I need to. My focus is living the most vibrant life that I can. We live very simply, and so we require relatively little money in our day to day life.
When my savings does happen to run low I take the time to settle in one spot and work for a few months. For me the focus is to enjoy each day of my life. The question I ask, is how can you not take time to do the things that you are passionate about? There are so many ways to live life, and experience all kinds of wonders without needing a huge savings account. There are endless opportunities to follow your dreams, what do you want to do?
I look forward to sharing with you the experience of hiking a long distance trail!
Follow along as I share highlights of the adventures that bring me such joy in life, and the wisdom they have imbued into my being.
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