Starting With C

Mountain View Motel and RV Park, Lima, MT

WordCount: OK I’ve been hearing the feedback–I’ll keep this one shorter! ¬†Or at least less than 1500 words ūüôā

Can’t get away! If you read the last entry, it might look like we never left Lima! ¬†Well, we’ve been out hiking, but since Lima is really the only game in town around here, we’re back. ¬†We’re quite fond of the little motel here and owners Mike and Connie really have it all set up for hikers. ¬†We’ve been catching up with family, email, doing laundry, planning, etc and our tentsite is costing us just five bucks.

Cottonwood Peak: Way to the top is clear!
Cottonwood Peak: Way to the top is clear!

Cottonwood: ¬†Our highlight of this particular trail segment was a side trip to the 11,024 ft summit of Cottonwood Peak. ¬†We tramped through snow (built a snowman), slid down loose rocks, and took in a fantastic view from the top at lunch. ¬†It was a clear day and we could see all the way out to Wyoming’s Grand Tetons as well as much of the Salmon River Valley and westward mountains in Idaho. ¬†Check out the pictures section!

Cows: ¬†Folks sometimes ask me what animal we see the most out here. ¬†Well, it’d have to be the cow. ¬†Cows are all over Montana and we’ve often found ourselves dodging cow patties on the trail or ending up in a giant cow field when camping at night. ¬†You kinda just get used to it –especially if, like us, ¬†you like eating Montana beef!

Camo: ¬†It’s well into archery season out here and each day we see hunters adorned from head to toe in camouflage creeping up the hillsides with their bows and packs to hunt elk. ¬†Elk hunting is a BIG DEAL out here. ¬†We’ve found the elk hunters to be a very friendly group. ¬†A few of them even invited us to come inside their camp and warm our hands on a particularly cold and snowy day. ¬†Another group of guys gave us a very helpful map. ¬†Naturally, the question we get the most is ¬†“Have you seen any elk?” ¬† In fact, we haven’t seen too many—but we’ve seen a few other creatures. ¬†Read on!

Compass: ¬†If you know me, you know that I really can’t keep track of my stuff. ¬†I don’t wear a watch or carry a wallet cause these things just have a way of getting lost. ¬†I lost my compass last week. ¬†I think I left it on the ground while we were having lunch somewhere just north of Cottonwood Peak. ¬†Oh well, maybe a lucky hiker will stumble upon it. ¬†Luckily we didn’t need it to make our way the rest of the way.

Cartilage: ¬†April’s knees aren’t faring much better. ¬†To finish this last section we chose to hike down from the mountains and across the valley to near where the CDT crosses the interstate at exit zero in Monida, MT. ¬†Nothing in Monida but abandoned buildings and scrap metal. ¬†We hitched back up the interstate to Lima.

Tough on the knees: April descends Cottonwood talus
Tough on the knees: April descends Cottonwood talus

CDT: If you haven’t suspected by now, we’re not gonna make it to Mexico. Too late in the season. ¬†This is actually fine with us because as much as we love being out on the trail, we miss family and are anxious to settle down. ¬†¬†April needs 3-4 more days to rest her knees, so (get out your map) we’re going to hitch out from Lima via Bozeman to Chico Hot Springs for a day or two, then visit a cousin in nearby Emigrant, and finally head down to Yellowstone. ¬†Once in Yellowstone hopefully April’s knees will be better and we can hike around there, take in the sights, and then make our last push along the CDT westward across the Centennial Mountains back guessed it…Lima.

Cooties: April!  Take a shower!  Phew!

Moose: ¬†Oh yeah, the other morning we saw a family of moose walk by about 100 ft from our tent. ¬†Moose are the most graceful yet awkward animals I’ve ever seen. ¬†Big bodies on spindly legs.

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