Day 179-Horse Lullaby 

CDT day 7-I have been hiking for exactly 6 months and have covered about 5,400 miles in that time. It feels like I have been hiking for years and covered much less miles. By saying this I mean it is hard to wrap my head around these numbers and I have so many stories and events from six months that it seems like it should have taken years for so much to happen to me. As for the miles, there is no way I could do this if I thought of the trip as an 8,000 mile hike. Instead I break it into 5-7 day stretches between resupplies that are anywhere from 100-200 miles. So even writing this it is eye opening to see the totals. Today was once again frigid all morning but luckily the trail was downhill and smooth. In fact I saw probably 100 other hikers today. As the day wore on and I neared one of the many wilderness ranches in the areas decides to act on some info a northbound hiker had passed on. He said there was a lot of food in the hiker box at this particular ranch. A hiker box is a place where people put their extra food when they resupply so that others may take the food if they are short on it. My trip to benchmark ranch could not have gone worse. First off I took the wrong road so I got a couple bonus miles in. Then secondly my personal nightmare took place. In front of the entrance to the ranch were 20 horses free and roaming about with no people around. I do not like horses and they worry me more than bears and mountain lions. As I tried to get to the ranch one of the giant horses started to make noise and stomp its foot. I was freaking out at this point and ready to try to jump a barb wire fence if it came at me. In my state of panic I automatically dos the one thing I thought would calm it and the other horses down: I started singing to them. It was straight out of a comedy. I have a very bad voice and couldn’t even tell you what I was singing but immediately as I butchered the first note the horses calmed row and went back to grazing. Somehow it worked and I made it to the ranch in one piece. When I opened the hiker box I was glad I came. There were many different types of cars and even cheese its and candy. I took what I needed and sang my way back out through the horses. I spent the rest of the day and evening winding my way through a burn area before finding a nice spot to camp near dark. Tomorrow if all goes well I will make it to Lincoln, MT to resupply.