[Cdt-l] In Anaconda. Also the Elliston Cutoff.

Chris Willett CWillett at pierce.ctc.edu
Mon Jul 6 11:36:20 CDT 2009

Hi All,
I arrived in Anaconda yesterday after legging out about 32 miles, mostly on roads, from Cold Spring. The cutoff wasn't as bad as people made it out to be and by following Cottonwood Wash road you can avoid all private property issues. Jonathan has this outlined on his latest maps. It isn't much longer than the old route.  Just for kicks, and to be different, I also took my own route, which I'm calling the Elliston Cut-Off. From Dana Spring, I followed FS roads down to near Mullan Pass, then hiked down Mullan Pass Road (RD103 on DeLorme) to HWY 12, maybe 6 miles. Pleasant, no cars. From HWY12 it's about 2 miles to a FS road that will take you to Kading Camp and a trail to Blackfoot Meadows and, above that, the CDT. This is about 15 miles. This may or may not be much shorter than the CDT, and is probably uglier, but it took me to Elliston, MT, which was a lot of fun. There isn't much in Elliston and the locals were shocked that the motel was open ($35 a night, quite nice). I spent a lot of time in Lawdog's, which is the bar/grill/casino that is under new management (homicide cop from Puget Sound). They have a 1 lb hot dog and mixed drinks come in keg cups. I drank 17 beers, many of which locals bought for me. Thankfully, they were all of the Bud variety and I wasn't as hungover as one might think.
The trail has been exceptionally well marked for the most part and there have been only a few confusing intersections without a label on them. I'm hoping for more of the same in the future. I'm leaving for Leadore tomorrow, skipping the long hitches, but having to carry 9 days of supplies to cover the 220 or so miles between here and there. I'm not sure if there will be internet access in Leadore, so my next update might have to wait until Lima.

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