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We are currently on another long distance hike, and the third leg of our "triple crown", the Continental Divide Trail (the "CDT"). Come along with us if you can - if not in person then by following our grand adventure via our "posts from the trail".  Check out our Flickr Photos, which we'll update periodically, and see it through our eyes!

Our Credo...

"Success: To laugh often and much, to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children, to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends, to appreciate beauty, to find the best in others, to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded!" ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Trip Report Butte – Aug 3

Greetings from Butte, Montana! For you non-westerners that’s Butte, like the “beaut” part of beauty, NOT like “butt” as in the butt of jokes.

We are a little over 400 miles and a a little over 4 weeks into the hike – by most measures about a third of the way done. It’s all gone so quickly and yet the trails, and snow, of Glacier National Park seem so distant.

The roughly 100 miles from Helena to Butte has been a mixed bag. Some proposed wilderness, with real solitude and great grizzly and wolverine habitat. The highlight was a breakfast shared with Elk cows and calves wandering through our camp. But there was also a lot of road walking, powerlines, cows, cars and ATVs.

We’ve continued close to the crest and far from water. And water sources are far from certain, so we find ourselves carrying too much, or too little. We’ve also been increasing the miles, averaging almost 20 per day. We had to. Arriving Saturday, we needed to make sure we got to town early enough, before the post office closed at 1pm.

Many CDT hikers, especially those trying to do the trail in one season, do not walk the CDT, or the Continental Divide, as it winds its way around Butte. Instead, they take the “Anaconoda Cut-off”. The cut-off is shorter by a bunch of miles and a few days. The cut-off also avoids the CDT sections around Butte which were routed for years on roads and OHV routes (and sometimes still are). And Anaconda is an easier town for resupply – Butte is large, spread out and cumbersome.

So, why did we choose to follow the CDT’s “Butte Route”?

Because it’s there, and we wanted to see it. We also wanted to stay close to the crest and see IT. And we wanted to avoid walking 20 miles of highway 1 into Anaconda and another 15 miles on Highway 1 out of Anaconda. Also, there have been a number of segments of trail newly built in the last several years, improving the Butte Route.

The Butte route mostly follows the crest, which means it continues it ups, downs and round about ways. And despite some new trail tread, there’s still a substantial amount of walking on roads, ranging from long lost, deeply rutted and eroded, mining roads to well maintained forest service gravel roads. Roads = repetitive motion = blisters and tight muscles.

Town is time for errands and chores; for putting the feet up and putting beer down. First though, we must head to the “Suds and Fun” a laundromat/casino and get clothes clean enough to be presentable for town.

One Response to “Trip Report Butte – Aug 3”

  1. Ken Fischman Says:

    First time I checked in with you. Sorry about your heel Phil. This is beginning to sound more like the Bataan death march than a walk in the woods. I hope that it “heels” soon. I like the nifty names you give your photos. You are obviously seeing some beautiful places. Lanie & I are off for a week of flyfishing down at Kelley Creek, in Clearwater country, but we are taking the wimp way, by truck camper. Does driving 50 miles on a dirt road get me a pass? Fondly, Ken

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