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Day 8: Backpacking through Montana

Day 8. Sun River Pass Trail. Trace and I hang around camp today as others off to fish and hike. Carson had given me the best pointers on chopping wood efficiently yesterday and safely (he started by saying my sandals were not safe, my pack boots much safer), so after everyone out of camp, I chop as much wood as I could, not for a campfire because it was too dry for that, but just because I could. And something in nature just wants you be a part. As Churchill said, “Nature will not be admired by proxy.” I stack the wood neatly (and vertically to make it seem like a lot) as I go to measure my progress. Tracy chops so much better than me! Off for a hike up the trail we came in on and then through a flowing meadow to a split in the crystal clear creek for lunch – and taking the opportunity to lie on the bank on our backs to rinse our hair (without having to get all the way in – cold water!).

A huge, fire in 1988 left miles and miles of the landscape with an otherworldly feel – only the charred trunks of the lodgepole pine were left standing, void of all branches or greenery. Undergrowth of aspen and pine were just beginning.


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