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Day 103 – The 3 Bears

I slept horribly. The two closest people to my tent were snorers, the type that can wake up an entire neighborhood. On top of the snoring, my tent was full of condensation, enough to fill a water bottle. Maybe there is a market for that. I bought enough pastries at the bakery to survive a couple days and then hiked into the park on a road. At the entrance a man gave me a long speech about how the world was on fire and we are in the safest place but have to be part of the flame. If you are confused, then we have that in common. It was like listening to a child make up a fable. But I listened actively to his story and continued on the road. Then, in the 6 miles up to Bowman Lake I nearly got hit by speeding cars, trucks and tractors who struggled to see in the dust. Finally at the lake, it was all worth it. An amphitheater of peaks surrounded the glassy lake, providing the most perfect reflection. Had there been less smoke in the area, the view would have been even more pronounced, but I won’t complain about the magical sight I did see! Just a few miles after joining the trail around Bowman lake I saw my first bear. It was a black one and after he saw the intimidating figure that stood in front of him he bolted. He knew he was no match for a skeleton like me. After an incredibly hot and steep 2k’ climb up Browns Pass the true enjoyment of the day began. I first jumped in a small snowmelt pond at 6k’ and then I jumped in Lake Francis, which thoroughly impressed everyone camping there since it as so cold. The type of cold that takes your breath away. By but it was overall refreshing! It was already a great day, but things would continue to go my way. Shortly after passing Lake Janice I saw yet another black bear. 3 bears in one day! Unfortunately they were all Black bears and no grizzlies. I startled this one and as soon as he saw I was as there he bolted. Finally, bear Waterton Lake, I made my right turn onto the Continental Divide Trail. I made it! And it feels so good! A ranger stopped me here to make sure I didn’t sneak in from Canada before letting me finish out my day to Kootenai Lakes. It was a day full of excitement and adventure. Just typing it all out is making me tired. More fun on the CDT tomorrow!

Miles 32

Total miles 3305

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