CDT Day 23 — July 18
Zero Day in Helena, MT
Miles hiked: Zero
Total miles: still 352.7
Ahhhh, the first zero day of the CDT. It was a sweet one. Pretty boring by most standards, so sorry, but I’ll give you a brief rundown just in case you have nothing better to do. Here we go!
I could have slept in until 10am, noon, or 3pm even. But nope, up at 6am, as usual. I wanted more sleep. My mind craved it, but my body was stuck in hike, hike, hike mode. Oh well, much to do today. May as well get started.
SpiceRack went out for a walk, to see the town before it was fully awake. I stayed in, eating cookies while lying on the floor with my feet on the bed, writing and doing internet chores. My sleeping pad was holding air after my patch job, so I stayed comfy like that for hours.
Spice came back to my cave of darkness around 8:30am with more energy and pep than I could understand. It sounded like a nice day out there and we went out to find a continental breakfast worthy of the Continental Divide. I came within half a waffle of being too full to walk. I hated to see it go to waste, but had no choice. We waddled back to the motel to snooze it off and ended up watching Zoolander on Spice’s phone, which is big enough to have its own congressman.
The gear shop was next on the list, but on the way out, we ran into Sci-fi and Ben who told us about their plan to take the Big Sky Cutoff route to Yellowstone instead of the CDT. This sounded like an awesome way to go, more scenic, more adventurous, and shorter, so Spice and I left confused, curious, and conflicted about the route we wanted to take. It was going to take some serious research for me to feel comfortable leaving the CDT for 300+ miles, and I wasn’t confident that there was enough time in the day to figure it out. Shoot, the more I learned, the sweeter it sounded.
Spice and I made it to the gear shop where I changed out a pair of Darn Tough socks for free, then hopped across the street to the library. I got on a computer for a few hours to get some work done using a real keaybortd fir oncew. Spice left to find some food and eventually I had to do the same. Strolling through downtown Helena in the evening light was really pleasant as I called to catch up with my brother. I visited the strangely awesome cathedral and saw a lot of local art. Live music and beer events were plentiful. Helena, capital of Montana, a cool town. Now you know.
I made it back to the motel around 7pm, super hungry and ready to be horizontal again. We almost ordered the most expensive pizza ever before settling for two cheaper pies instead, vegan of course. Another shower for me, then we watched half of the most boring Matt Damon movie ever, while noshing hard, slice after slice.
We did a bunch more research on the Big Sky Cutoff, but couldn’t make a decision. There just isn’t a ton of info out there for a last-minute trip planning. It was well past midnight when we decided that sleep was more important than figuring it all out that night. Time to sleep on it. Sleep Brain will figure it out. He always does.
A good, productive zero, but tiring. Town is like that. I like to think that I get away from all the responsibilities and crap from ‘normal’ life while I’m on the trail, but the truth is that it just gets concentrated. Hiking is good for the mind, hard on the body. Town is good for the body, hard on the mind. Yin and Yang. When I’m on trail hiking, I think about pizza. When I’m in town eating pizza, I think about hiking. It is endless. There is no escape. On nom nom nom.