Sunday, August 06, 2006

Thu June 29 – Day 40

I must have put my dunce cap on this morning by mistake. I just could not seem to find the route today, and my decision making was off. I got up early this morning and was rolling by 7:30 or so. But I couldn’t find any legs, and the 20 miles into Seely Lake seemed to take forever. I loaded up on foodstuffs, left a message for Sarah, and head up the big climb. Turns out the big climb was about as ruthless as a 2000 footer could be. It was a nice grade at the bottom, but toward the top it turned to singletrack where you had to get off and pull over trees, rocks, and rockslide residue. But some amazing views, I’ll grant that.

On the way down I made my first navigation error of the day. I’m not sure how I did it, but somehow I blew right by a turn. It wasn’t that I thought the turn wasn’t the one – I just never saw it at all. I ended up going down the hill the wrong way, so I lost all of my elevation going backwards.

But, it turned out OK. I ended up taking the highway back to the route, I didn’t have to climb up too far, and the traffic wasn’t too bad. Then I got back on the route, got about 10 miles in, and made another wrong turn. This was partly because the map directions were going the other way and the turn was obvious from the other way, so they weren’t clear about the turn. The blame really was mine, though.

By sheer luck, I ended up stopping and camping only about a mile off the route, and realized my error later that night. So again, no biggie. I just hate making dumb mistakes. At the end of the day, though, I did manage to put myself within striking distance of Columbia Falls. So, mission accomplished.

Day 40 stats:

72 miles (on map – more like 80 really)
4000 feet up


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