Nero to just south of Pipestone Pass
Ahh, how nice to sleep in a bed and have in-room air-conditioning! Luxury at its best I am sure of it. After breakfast at the BS cafe I went back to the motor inn (ironic since I don't have a car, maybe I should have asked for a no car discount?), packed up my stuff, took another shower (because it just doesn't happen as often as it should) and then headed out the door to find the library where I uploaded pictures. Then it was to the bus for an across town trip to the grocery store to buy and repackage food for 6 days. At about 4,000-5,000 calories per day that adds up to quite a lot of food. A couple additives that I like to pack out are a small bottle of olive oil and instant dry whole milk (Nido). They both pack quite a caloric punch and add flavor to whatever it is I am eating.
Sparrow was lagging a little behind me, but made it to the grocery store and by the time he was set to go it was already 6pm. We headed out to the highway and made a sign with large block letters, "Pipestone Pass
10 miles," and on the opposite side, "Hikers to trail." After more than an hour of trying to get a ride with no success, a few jeers from teenagers, a few honks, and a handful of middle fingers our direction, Sparrow made another sign that read, "Hiking 3,000 miles. Need a ride 10 miles to trail." About another hour later a local kid (early 20's) drove up and offered us a ride. Yes! Only took 2.5 hours, and it wasn't because there were no cars driving by us.
On the drive up we found out that the Rainbow Family gathering is taking place on nearby National Forest land and there have been a number of Rainbow folk in/around Butte panhandling and whatnot since the beginning of June. It was unfortunate for us because it seems they have not left a good impression on the locals and I believe we had the misfortune of being lumped in with that group.
On the short hike up from the trailhead to where I'm camped, we ran into a lovely couple that were coming back from a nice little evening hike. After chatting for 5-10 minutes they even offered us a ride back to Butte for a meal with them and a stay at their place! If only we had met them a day earlier! It restored some of my faith in those from Butte, but the majority of people left me with a mostly sour memory of the town. I wouldn't choose Butte as a resupply town were I to plan a hike of the CDT again.
Also had a chance to talk to Colin (Kick/Timex/Stopwatch/etc) and he will be meeting us at Chief Joseph Pass! It will be fun to take a day to hangout with him in Missoula, maybe even float the river! But I get ahead of myself because there are many miles to hike before I float.