• Mary Anderson

My First 200 Miles: A Review

Some of the things that made up my first 200 miles of hiking:

  • Not talking to another person for days.

  • Talking to a lot of cows.

  • Drinking water from cow troughs.

  • Not taking a shower for over a week.

  • Wearing the same sweaty clothes for all that time.

  • Eating pretty much the same food for days.

  • Carrying all that food for a week on my back.

  • Carrying on my back all the trash I generated in a week.

  • Being in wind that forced me to walk hunched over so as not to be blown off trail.

  • Getting covered with dust that included a lot of ground-up cow poop.

  • Walking 20 miles on sand as soft as a beach . . . with a 35-pound pack on.

  • Wanting to sit and cry but having to walk.

  • Crawling over 100 blown-down trees in a single morning.

  • Walking into a stranger’s house and sharing food.

  • Accepting kindnesses from a lot of strangers.

  • Post holing in snow with a pack and a bum knee.

  • Being surrounded by antelope, deer, elk, and wild horses on a daily basis.

  • Seeing the tiniest baby antelope.

  • Walking daily through the pungent smell of crushed sagebrush.

  • Walking through area after area of all colors of wildflowers including white, cream, peach, bright red, pink, magenta, fuschia, wine, blue, purple, bright orange, salmon, bright yellow, pale yellow, and all sorts of combinations of the above.

  • Seeing very pink ”watermelon snow,“ which is the result of algae growing on it.

  • Seeing dung beetles roll balls of dung way larger than themselves for long distances.

  • Seeing badgers, prairie dogs, ground squirrels, horned toads and more.

  • Seeing and hearing a plethora of new birds.

  • Being surround by a huge sky full of clouds ranging from white to black to orange.

  • Seeing rocks in a plethora of shapes and colors including reds, yellows, whites, grays, and greens.

  • Wind so loud you can't hear yourself sing.

  • Walking in heat over 100 degrees.

  • Shivering in 60 mph winds.

  • A sky so dark that it seemed I could see every star in the Milky Way.

Now on to the next adventure, which in Glacier is starting out with some of the most beautiful, majestic mountains I have ever laid eyes on.

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