Day 16 - all alone
Beautiful meadow on divide to MacDonald Pass
Unfortunately I did not get the best sleep last night because the wind started blowing and gusting pretty strongly in the wee morning hours. Regardless, I got going at the same time as usual, and it was actually quite refreshing to have the breeze keep me a little cooler throughout the day.
The miles today were mostly uneventful, and I think there must have been about 20 miles of road waking today in addition to the 10 or so yesterday. I can now say that I strongly dislike road walks. They are just so BORING! Ugh, not my idea of hiking fun.
I was only planning to hike 30 today and then do the last few in the morning to get into Helena, but the vortex/black-hole-like suction of town lured me in and I succumbed to the temptation of a shower, laundry, and ice cream. After 11 days without a proper shower I don't think it was so wrong of me to want, especially with the past few days being as dry and waterless as they were, with no creeks or lakes in which to rinse/bathe. There was also the fact that I hadn't seen another person in two days and hiking alone is, well, lonely. I think I may hangout in town until the rest of the group arrive so I can hike with them for a while. Stagg may take a siesta from hiking stag for a while.
On a brighter note, my dad has a friend in Helena by the name of John Smith. As I was waiting at the pass for John, without even sticking out my thumb, I got an offer for a ride into Helena! Only took about 15 minutes for the offer, but I had to decline because John was already on his way.
After getting picked up at the pass John bought me an ice cream cone (huckleberry of course) and took me on a quick driving tour of the downtown area. I am staying in a real bed in a real bedroom in the basement of his house and, while in Helena, John and his wife Luanne are graciously allowing me to use one of their vehicles to drive around and take care of my miscellaneous town chores. Amazing people.
John is also quite a hiker an photographer and goes on a weeklong trip each year with some of his colleagues. He showed me pictures of his trips to the Bear-something wilderness and the Sawtooth Wilderness. Beautiful. I'll be adding those to my list of places to visit.
And now it's time for a hot shower and bed. Yes!