6 mi ::
1834 mi ::
I think I’m up early, but it’s already 6:30 am. The sun is not coming up quite as early these days. It’s moist and chilly by the wet meadows. I pack up and get moving to warm myself.
The roads and trails are numerous and unmarked here. Turns from road to trail are especially hard to catch. I have to follow the line on the map first, then worry about finding a path.
I leave a new section of CDT to descend to Hogan Cabin where Ann expects to meet me this morning. I have to navigate more roads and trails to get there.
Ann isn’t there when I reach the large meadows. I try to stay calm and not worry. I check all the signs around, but find no note. Across the meadow is Hogan Cabin, but there is nothing there either. In the meadows two long-necked birds, herons perhaps, warble. It sounds like there are more of them, but the calls sound strangely similar. I realize there is an amazing echo in the valley, and the birds are calling to themselves. Suddenly they are drowned out by a tremendous sound of machinery. There is a big tractor down the road a ways. This gives me hope that Ann was stopped by road repairs. I start toward the machine. Relief engulfs me when the subaru appears on the far side of it.
Soon I’m in the car with Ann. Apparently they’re adding pullouts to this road to accomodate traffic expected for the Lewis & Clark bicentennial. In the meantime, traffic has to wait for the big tractors to move out of the way.
We go to Ann’s site at a campground on highway 43. Being apart on this segment was stressful for both of us. I spent the entire section eager to return to her, and she felt lonely without me. We talk about it over breakfast. I suggest that it might be time for me to stop hiking so we can have something resembling a honeymoon again. We agree to take a night off in Wisdom, an appropriate place to sleep on the decision.
In town we meet a bike tourist named Glen. Ann met him a few days ago and shared a campsite with him. He’s lost his bike pump and has a low tire. We all decide to split a room. I rest in the room while Ann takes Glen to Anaconda for a new pump.
We have dinner at Fetty’s bar together when they return, and catch some Olympic coverage. The games are a nice distraction from my big decision. It’s on my mind when I go to bed though, and I’m slow to fall asleep.