[Cdt-l] Trail Mix

shylirin shylirin1 at yahoo.com
Mon Aug 3 04:41:31 CDT 2015

Just a quick (ok, long) note for some hiker updates and bits about some trail sections in Montana.
Southbounders on the trail:
Periwinkle, solo-hiking as of July 8th, but considering trading the long hike for a Jeep trip to pick up his hold boxes.  
M&M, fantastic couple hiking together for over 30 years who look to finish their last CDT section this summer.  It was a pleasure to chat with them for     a few minutes!Lighthouse, who originally started out with Fun Size, but was solo-hiking when I ran into him.  I never saw Fun Size, but a few people asked about him.Flamingo, breezing strong along the trail.Ridgerunner and K2, currently southbound and having a great trip.
Northbounders on the tral:
Rambler, cruising along to GNP and probably finished or very nearly so at this point.
Trail Notes (from a sobo):
Lots of deadfall in the section between Four Corners and Champion Pass, some of which can create additional adventures while skirting.  
New trail going around Leadville is fantastic, with some great views to the north and good piped spring water towards the south end of the new section.  There is no sign to indicate the trail on the south end, but a plain, new-looking wood post at the curve under the power lines is where the treaded trail starts for nobos.  There are some unsigned posts going off to the south, and sobos can follow those to avoid the road-walk if they want.  They haven't finished cutting the trail in that area, due to negotiating some details with other land users, but according to an NFS employee I met, it can be hiked.  There are three piped springs on the new trail sections between Champion Pass and the last open, meadow-covered hill before you enter the trail/forest that skirts the ridge to the southwest/west around Leadville.  Good flow, great water, and the pipes drain into cattle tanks.
If you need to get to work on time or are just having trouble hitching at the Elk Park exit on I-15 just north of Butte, Enterprise will pick you up at the overpass (mile marker 138) and drive you in to their offices to do the rental paperwork.  It's pricey, but an option if you need town before you can hike/hitch there.  Pizza note:  Silver Bow Pizza (exit 127 off I-90 in Butte, go south about 1.3 miles or so) has an excellent pizza buffet, with ravioli, pasta, salad, soup, dessert, and a drink for $8 and some change from 11-1 and 5-8 Mon through Fri (I think I have those hours correct).
New trail around Butte between the Nez Perce trail junction (6 miles in from the Nez Perce TH) is gorgeous, with good on-trail water periodically between the Nez Perce TH on the north end to where the trail meets the old road near the electronics site next to Our Lady of the Rockies.  Since the trail section is completed, signage indicates that the mileage between Homestake Pass TH and the Nez Perce TH is 28 miles, but it seems like it might be more due to some newer-looking switchbacks.  The new trail does a lot of contouring around the mountains, which adds mileage, but it seems that the trail planners were doing their level best (pun intended) to run the trail near water, around private holdings, and scenic while avoiding PUDS and gigantic rockfalls.  I especially enjoyed all of the balanced rocks and the MANY potential campsites along the trail.
I will be headed back to Butte/Homestake Pass from Idaho today (Monday) or Tuesday.  Please mail me at shylirin1 at yahoo.com if anyone needs a pickup/dropoff or such.  I will be driving up I-15 and passing both interstate crossings on the way.
Happy Trails,One More

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