Sunday morning and the sun was fresh, and I was standing at the flashing yellow light in the middle of Lincoln pondering my route out of town. The only thing I knew for sure was I was leaving that ashtray of a town before it was fully light.
Lincoln had been fun. Pitchers of Heff, a night at an early 1900 haunted log cabin hotel, big burgers, and a bunch of aging bikers. It also reminded/taught me some lessons to remember down the rest of the trail.
- When your pack is packed, get out of town. I’m independent operator.
- Don’t stay in town a second night just for drinks.
- Spend the money on a quality place to sleep.
- Make sure to accomplish tasks to improve hiking through the next section. i.e. Laundry, general cleanliness, consumption of food that will improve health.
I did none of these things in Lincoln. I had a damn good time, but I didn’t set myself up for the next 50+ miles. Now, I’m in Helena making sure I don’t repeat those mistakes.
We’ll see how I do on #1 and #2 tomorrow morning when I head out of town for Anaconda.
I set myself up for #3 by sleeping just 5 miles from MacDonald Pass, so I could sleep later under my tarp than normal and still get into town by 10am or so. Extra rest on the trail and in a room of my own in town. I don’t mind sharing a room, but what I learned in Lincoln after sharing a room with Buckeye, Magpie, and Stoked, is that you get some sleep, but don’t get enough nor do you accomplish little cleanliness things that set you up to keep moving forward.
I also learned that if you sleep in a tent site at an RV park you can leave your site at 7pm and come back at 10pm to find it flooded from the sprinkler system. Moving to a bivouac at 10 isn’t my favorite. Neither is then realizing that because you’re camped next to the highway, the Harley’s are going to be leaving town for the next four hours.
Another night in town, more dollars and no progress on prep for the next section.
Finding the groove
It’s 2pm in Helena. I’ve had a great breakfast with bowl of fruit, had a bath, dried all my gear, done a bit of snack shopping, and my wash is going.
I’m going to take a nap! Dinner shopping and some route planning tonight. Hitch to the pass tomorrow morning and on to Anaconda.
Beer checking the map on our alternate route.
Thunderstorms moving in. Forced us twice to take cover down hill. Ended up camping on a side hill. Had to shove my food and gear bags under one side of my sleeping pad to try to level off enough to sleep.
Glorious sunrise the next morning.