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Day 116 – Anaconda Pintler Wilderness

I got an amazing night of rest, two showers and the bare bones amount of laundry done. It was a much more pleasant stay in town than it usually is for me. I suspect it was accentuated by the awful road walking on each side of town. I planned to leave somewhat early, but while grabbing one last cup of coffee I saw some hikers heading the opposite direction and I inquired as to their route for my next wildfire detour. It was invaluable information and made it well worth not leaving town until 10:15. This next section will be largely roads, but with their help I was able to construct a route to get a few passes in and some great trail miles. The Anaconda Pinter Wilderness is one of my favorites and it is disappointing that like much of the western USA, it is burning. I picked up another layer from the post office (it is getting cold in the mornings) and hiked 13 miles out of town on asphalt before joining a dirt road headed back towards the wilderness. I climbed by lakes and eventually over Storm Pass and one of the coolest trail sections began. A giant slab of earth sat flat 9,000’ above sea level and I walked across it. It felt like a scene from lord of the rings crossing the alpine grasslands, with trail marked only by cairns. It was cold and windy, but I soon dropped down a bit to camp. I was a bit surprised to see another hiker, as it seemed most people had taken to road walking around this section. We chatted much into the night and I enjoyed the company.

Miles 33

Total miles 3752

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