Trail magic? Again? Sure enough, we were fortunate enough to receive kindness from random strangers. As we sat drinking spring water at Lemhi Pass, some folks stopped to see the famous ‘headwaters of the Missouri River’ and ran into us. After talking for a bit, the lady asked if we were allowed to eat food from strangers and came out with sandwiches, chips, fruit, and tea! What a treat. After seeing my filthy, hole ridden socks, one fellow offered me the socks off his feet! I declined his generous offer – there is a limit where receiving gifts shouldn’t cross. But what a kind hearted gesture.Back on the trail we met Walkin’ Jim going northbound. Walkin’ Jim is a trail celebrity for his many hikes and beautiful guitar playing. When we met I didn’t realize who he was but after seeing the guitar on his pack it hit me; ‘You’re THAT Walkin’ Jim!’ Too bad our paths didn’t cross during camp. I’d have loved to hear him play.Jeep tracks took us up to the Divide again for excellent views of the surrounding countryside. As I hiked along, not paying attention to much, something made me look to one side. There, 40 yards away, was a black bear nosing through the brush. She posed long enough for me to admire her beautiful brown and black coat and snap a few photos before ambling off. Not long after this I saw another hulking beast, but it was only a cow busy trampling otherwise pristine water sources. Yep, they graze cattle on public lands on the CDT. It seems sacrilegious to turn these unique wild lands into feedlots for livestock. For many of us, the Earth is a temple and its abuse and destruction is heart wrenching. Why confine praise to some dinky building when the real holy places are wide-open spaces of this blue planet? If god didn’t create this earth to be respected and loved, then I question the building blocks of your faith. If your religion tells you it’s ok to consume every natural resource in your path to better yourself, I think it’s time to question who is interpreting those holy books.
- Starting Location: Idaho and Montana
- Destination: trail magic and a bear