Day 177-Flathead River

CDT day 5-At the end of the day yesterday I was in a bit of a funk. The exhaustion of walking through a burn area, with no views and getting sunburned wiped the smile off my face. To turn my frown upside down I turned off my alarm and let my body sleep as long as it needed. Then as soon as I started hiking I was greeted by a series of beautiful meadows and incredible views(pictures on Facebook.com/Freeoutside). I was back and loving this adventure again! I wound over peaks and ridges without a trail. My map would read “follow cairns” or “follow ridge line” because there was no trail to be had. This brought out the explorer and adventurer in me and I loved it. I entered the Bob Marshall wilderness and had a few smaller burn areas but they were overshadowed by incredible meadows and creeks that flowed into the flathead River. Then out of nowhere I saw someone walking down the trail towards me. I was in the middle of nowhere and did not expect to see anyone for days so it was both a shock and a pleasant surprise. He was a thru hiker who skipped the snowy areas named Hob. We chatted for quite a while and then continued in our separate directions. I ended the day by coasting into the South Fork of the Flathead River. There were some horses with two riders camped at the remote ranger station along with a very unaccompanied ranger. I simply asked if I could camp on the edge of the grassy area around his cabin and he said no and sent me down into the woods where he said there were more campsites. I never found these campsites and had to make due with a very rocky spot. I am going to assume he was just separating the hikers from the horse riders and maybe had my best interest in mind but I was not too happy waking through thorns and not finding a campspot. Il let him off the hook though. My last ache and challenge is I have been having some back pain. I adjusted my pack so hopefully it will take care of itself.