Woohoo! I'm alive! I just walked ~180 miles from Lincoln, almost entirely off the official CDT to detour around 3 huge fires. (Ahorn, Fool's Creek, and Skyland, the last was for a while the top priority fire in America. Check out www.inciweb.org for really up to date info.) I didn't even know that Skyland existed when I left Lincoln, so I was making up a route on the fly, asking crew I met to radio ahead and see if trails were open. Last night I slept a hundred yards from a dirt road that itself is the firebreak at the east end of the Skyland fire and watched the fires on the hills above me all night. At least they didn't keep me up all night like the wolves a couple nights previous. I also saw a griz yesterday.
So it's been pretty rough/amazing the last little while. I'm excited about heading into Glacier tomorrow.
I need to tell this story: I left Lincoln and was walking on NF roads to get back on the real trail. From Lincoln, I'd ordered a pack from ULA Equipment. (Awesome packs made by a dude in his garage in Logan, Utah.) Only then I'd e-mailed him and asked if he'd like to sponsor me since he sponsored Scott on his 2006 yo-yo. So I wasn't sure if he was going to go through with the order if he didn't want to sponsor me. (I wanted him to, the zipper on my current pack in breaking.) So I asked the first person that stopped when they drove by if they'd relay a message to my mom that explained the situation and asked her to make sure the order went through. This was all semi-urgent because ULA closed Aug.1, I assume so the owner Brian can go on his own adventure. Anyway, the lady was very nice, happily agreed to deliver the message, and gave me $18 and a diet Coke. Then when I caught up to her on the trail (we were both headed to Heart Lake) she said that she wanted to pay for my pack ($175) if Brian decided not to sponsor me. Her friend had recently passed away, leaving her as the beneficiary of a sizable sum. Her friend had loved the outdoors, but hadn't spent enough time there, so she would have loved what I'm doing. Thank you Donna! Also, thanks to Brian, who decided to sponsor me! People are cool.
Also, another neat story from a while back is that when I hitched out of Lander, WY, the random person who picked me up happened to be a friend of my friend John Bellows. Guess that story kind of pales in comparison to the previous heart-warming one.
On to Glacier and the turn-around. Nobody send anything to East Glacier for my Sobo pass-through--thanks to the fires I may come out on the west side of the park near Essex.