Helena 171 km
After picking up my REI supplies at the PO and supplementing it at the local IGA store on the way out of town we walked on the road again. Once having crossed Interstate 90 we climbed out of the hot valley. The country site reminded me of New Mexico, dry and very few trees. The road passed by the remains of a former resort; Pipestone Hot Springs which was closed in the '50s. Slowly it got greener which meant more trees with some shade. Near Delmoe Lake we arrived back at the CDT.
Before crossing Interstate 15 we ran into the first Southbounder, James. That was a big hallo and information exchange. It got hotter by the day. Then we met Cloud Walker, the second Southbounder. He had just finished hiking the AT this year; not our speed. We got more information about trail conditions and snow and creek levels. The last bit to Mac Donald pass was full of blow downs. Towards the pass it was cleared, not for us hikers but for a bicycle race; and this on a National Scenic Trail. At the pass we waited for Beaker's wife to take us into Helena. Here it was over 90° Fahrenheit. We took a day off.
Pipestone Hot Springs, an abandoned former resort
Remains of a former gold mine
Blooming Bear Grass along CDT
A couple of horse back riders on CDT near Mac Donald Pass
View over Helena from Montana parliament building