• Mary Anderson

What I’ll Remember: Ennis to Big Sky

Mary Anderson Continental Divide Trail
Photos of Mary by Jennifer Gift @onedayontheway

Slack packing by beautiful Ennis Lake with a lovely breeze blowing.

Trail angels Jackie and Dean Strong and their family.

Hooking up with Jenn, whom I had met on Facebook back in May, and hiking together for three days.

Lots of very steep, long climbs.

One climb so steep that to feel secure I had to kick steps into dirt and not look down.

Some steep, long downs.

Rugged rocky peaks.

Feeling completely spent and ready to stop for the night.

Still pushing on three more miles to a place to camp.

Watching a bald eagle soar overhead.

Green forests with lots of streams and marshy meadows.

Lightning like fireworks while sitting in my tent.

Thunder booming and echoing through the mountains.

Having a big rain clear the air of smoke.

The best views since Glacier.

Some awesome stars.

Frosty mornings and chilly winds, especially at 10,000-foot-altitude passes.

Some really beautiful babbling brooks and waterfalls.

Being at elevation high enough to again see spring flowers in bloom.

Seeing yet more new types of wildflowers and butterflies.

Enjoying numerous alpine lakes.

Again seeing snow.

Being grateful for each step I am able to walk without pain in my hip.

Spending two nights with horrible leg cramps.

Feeling strong when doing some of the climbs.

Wondering about the geology of this bouldery, rocky area.

Going completely crosscountry with no sign of a trail.

Being happy and feeling successful when finding a trail.

Losing the trail ten steps later.

Lots of bear scat.

Walking by huckleberries, raspberries, and elderberries—yummy bear food.

Taking thirty photos in a day because the views were so spectacular.

Moose and pika.

Enjoying having sobo Jenn as a hiking buddy for three days and nights.

Getting to know some people in Big Sky, Montana.

Finally getting my Yellowstone permit after four and a half hours on the phone.

Saying good-bye to Jenn.


Mary Anderson is hiking the 3,000-mile Continental Divide Trail and writing a book about it.

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