Tuesday, 17 September 2013

There are many alternate routes on the CDT, with a full map of the whole trail looking more like a braided river than a straight line. One of the longest alternates is the Big Sky Variant which runs from the southern border of Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming to Butte, Montana. The alternate misses the Idaho section of trail but passes through much more of Yellowstone and passes past some fantastic small Montana towns.

The trail throughout he section differeed greatly - just like he rest of the trail - with sections of road walking, good trail and no trail in some parts. The diversity of wildlife in Yellowstone the best I have ever encountered hiking, the best being a bison up close and personal when I was having a midnight break on a night hike. The bison passed within 2 meters of me while I ate a piece of cake in the rain, and walked straight past me snorting, and continued down the road. They are spectacular creatures.

The geothermal fields of Yellowstone were a great way to finish Wyoming with geysers, fumeroles and hot springs lining the roads and parts of the trail. My favorite was the Mammoth Hot Spring Terraces which are akin to the now extinct pink and white terraces in New Zealand.

Montana has been the state with the most trail magic - from both friends and strangers. Hollywood and Nugio, two fellow members of the whiskey gang that we hiked with last year on the Pacific Crest Trail met us on trail at different points and gave us some trail magic. We have also been hosted in Ennis, Butte and Helena - the generosity of whom has  blown us away.

There are more rolling hills, peaks and road walks ahead in the last 350 miles, but I am on the downhill stretch now and racing the snow to the border. Wish me luck!

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Friday, 6 September 2013
I have been running a little short on time the last couple of weeks but I am still on trail and counting down to the finish.

I have about 500 miles to go and plan to finish in 24 days time.

I will update the blog once I get a bit more time. Until then, visit the Hike for a Hospital Facebook site for updates.

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