CDT day 26-Miles Hiked today: 25
CDT total distance traveled: 890
Total trip miles: 5770
Avg temps: 80s
Pain: calf soreness
Exhaustion level: moderately high
Favorite meal: Backpackers pantry chicken risotto
I woke up and my hosts made me sourdough pancakes, bacon and eggs. A breakfast fit for a king! After that one of the guys, Kim, threw my stuff in his jeep and took me right back up the road to where I came down. It was a little weird to do this 3 mile stretch of the trail (road) 3 times: once on the back of an ATV, once in a car and finally on foot. After about an hour I finally closed out this well known section of gravel road to move on towards Yellowstone and make some actual progress. I am caught in the middle: I have to be at a ranger station in Yellowstone for a permit by 430 but the station is 40 miles away. It looks like today will be a nice 25 mile leisure day. The leisure day include climbing an old road straight up a hill for 10 miles then turning off onto a road that didn’t look like it had been used in years. Every 100 yards there was a large 10 foot berm to climb over and run down the other side. These loose dirt hills became exhausting. Finally I reached the trail to the last water source for the day so I took it to top off my supply. At the water I found four other southbound hikers who said they pulled two dead squirrels out of the water: Yummy! Time to test my filter and add in chemicals for good measure. We talked for a bit and I said I would probably see them camped at the National Park Boundary as well. See my issue is that you cannot camp inside the national park without a permit so I was going to camp right at the boundary and hike in 17 miles to the nearest ranger station tomorrow. This last 7 miles to the border could not have gone worse. I started showing all the signs of sickness: extreme fatigue, calf and other muscle soreness, and a high fever. Luckily it was 630 when j got to the border so I could get plenty of sleep. I went far enough off the trail to avoid being woken up by the other hikers, scarfed down a quick dinner and slept for 12 solid hours.