Hail Montana

Indian Point, Bob Marshall Wilderness, Lewis and Clark NF

Happy August! It’s summer in Montana, but here in the Bob it only sometimes feels that way. April and I have had thunderstorms and hail for two days and the weather out here has been anything but predictable. Two days ago were on our way down from Switchback pass, enjoying ripe wild huckleberries and strawberries from the plants alongside the trail and feeling the hot sun on our shoulders. Just a few hours later we were huddled under a big evergreen tree with a small fire to keep warm as we waited out a cold rain and hail storm. Caught by surprise, we didn’t do a great job waterproofing ourselves and had a damp two hours under that tree. A group of four hikers passed us in the opposite direction and told us that the pass we were headed for was 3 to 4 miles away and wecould camp there. The rain finally let up enough for us to decide whether to camp where we were or move on to the pass. We saw a little blue sky on the horizon so we packed up and headed for the pass. The pass turned out to be closer to 4 miles and by the time we got up there it was dark and had started raining again. We picked the best campsite we could see, a lowly slanted piece of grassy ground next to the trail. We set up our tent in the rain and neither of us had a good night’s sleep.

The late hike to the pass did allow us to get to a small lake early the next morning and

The Chinese Wall, Bob Marshall Wilderness
The Chinese Wall, Bob Marshall Wilderness

thankfully the sun was out. We spent a few hours drying our stuff and chatting with a few women from Whitefish, MT who had camped there. The rest of the day was on and and off blue sunny sky and menacing thunderstorm as we walked at the base of a huge rock face called the Chinese Wall. We spent the night at a crowded campsite along the south fork of the Sun River.


Today we hike 11 to 12 miles to a road that leads 30 miles to Augusta, MT (we’ll get a ride) where we’ll take our first break since 118 miles back in East Glacier.

Physically we’re doing pretty good. I’m occassionally bothered by a sore right heel and knee, April is fighting a small bister on her right pinkie toe. We’re able to make 20 mile days, even with significant elevation gain and April is slowly but surely becoming a stronger climber. We’re looking forward to a bit of rest in Augusta before tackling the next 52 miles to Lincoln.

NB for those who are curious about what on Earth we’re eating, here’s the trail dinner menu. 7/27 Hot dogs, avocado, orange soda, apple doritoes

Stove Top and Slim Jim
Stove Top and Slim Jim

7/28 Stove top stuffing w/ chopped slim jim
7/29 kraft mac and cheese w/tuna and chopped slim jim
7/30 olive oil mashed potatoes with wild chives
7/31 trail mix (too tired to cook)
8/1 Acini de Pepe with italian herbs (mix) and sardines (april dictated this one.  really it was just pasta in a pot with canned fish 😉

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