Schultz Saddle to Chief Joseph Pass
Today was an early morning with anticipation of making it to the trailhead and the Sula Country Store to enjoy some cold drinks and ice cream. The hiking was all along the divide today, but a very mellow section of the divide. The climbs were short and well graded, and the downs flew by as well. Along the way I ran into a mountain biker headed out for a ride north of Gibbons Pass. He told me that the reason this section of trail is so nice and clear of down trees is due to the local mountain biking club that had been out the weekend before clearing the trail. So thank you to those wonderful people who made the morning's miles a much easier walk!
Sparrow and I managed to make it to Chief Joseph Pass by noon and while there ran into a group of motorcycle guys. Four of the five were actually from Portland and they just happened to have an extra beer with them so I got to enjoy a cold drink sooner than I expected! The fifth gentleman from Missoula, probably in his late-fifties or early-sixties even hinted at giving me some marijuana should I desire. I politely declined, but it just goes to show the generosity of strangers.
After attempting to get a hitch for about an hour, Sparrow and I eventually got a ride with a couple of people heading home from the Rainbow gathering event, to which I have previously referred. They were decent people, although they had a certain manner that hinted at years of previous hard drug use. An interesting hitch indeed.
The rest of the day was spent eating and drinking and hanging out in the town of Missoula with Colin from the PCT 2011. Very cool little place, and apparently they have a nursing school here, so who knows, I may end up here in the near future...
The only downside of being in the valley was the much warmer weather. So warm in fact that I had trouble getting to sleep for a couple hours. Oh well, could be worse.