• Sara Tucker

Ice Cream, Pizza, a Bed, and a Shower

As she hikes the Continental Divide Trail from north to south, Mary Anderson sends us a new post by email whenever she can. Meanwhile, she sends us bits of news via her satellite device or her phone. Yesterday (Monday, June 28), she was able to place a video call from a high point on the trail, and there were bighorn sheep in the background. She says Montana is VERY hot (this goes along with the reports of extreme heat in the region), and that she has run into many hikers. She ran low on food rations during this eight-day segment through Glacier Park, and she got really hungry, despite some food offered by weekend hikers who had ample supplies. She twisted a foot while crossing a snowfield, but it didn’t seem to slow her down. She sounded in good spirits.

Later in the day, I got a satellite message from her: She had reached East Glacier Park Village, eaten well (“Got ice cream pizza finally less hungry almost full”), and was planning to camp “behind store.” On Tuesday, she will “slack pack” (hike without a pack) during the day, then spend a night in a hostel with shower and laundry facilities.

She has to cross an area where there are lots of blowdowns (fallen trees), so I was happy to hear that she can slack pack (it means somebody with a car is making sure that she and her pack end up in the same place at the end of the day). Climbing over or scooching under fallen trees that block the trail is hard enough without a pack.

Since before leaving home, Mary has been anxious about river crossings. An above-average snowfall this past winter, combined with record-high temps this spring, is filling the rivers with snowmelt, and a very tall northbound hiker told Mary he had encountered water up to his chest. Mary is only five-foot-five. Plus, it’s easy to lose your footing during a crossing, especially if you have weak ankles and a bum knee.

PLEASE NOTE: If you are receiving satellite messages from Mary, please note that there is a crucial typo in one of her preset messages. If you want to send her a response, you must use the following address (the URL in her message is missing the final “s”): share.garmin.com/CDTMarybadass

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