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Similar to the PCT, it was a choice of walking a few miles into Canada or walking approximately 30 miles back. I chose to walk back. I started hiking at 3am, took the Stoney Indian Pass trail junction and hiked towards Chief Mountain. At 4:30am, I ended up running into another thru-hiker on top of Stoney Indian Pass and we joked about how early we both started. We celebrated getting 6 miles in before sunrise!
The climb was definitely an ass kicker, but I was stoked I wasn’t doing it in the heat of the day. I got to experience an epic sunrise on my way down with an overlooking view of the valley and lakes. Further down the switchbacks, grandiose waterfalls were revealed and I was greeted by blue jays chirping and dancing. I felt as though I was voyaging through the Jurassic Park, on a mission of self-exploration.
When I made it to Chief Mountain, I tried hitching a ride back to East Glacier. There were little to no cars; the two that did stop showed me they were fully packed with dogs and/or camping gear. The third car was the same way, but he let me squeeze up in front and put my feet on the dash.
I cannot explain the euphoria I felt stepping back into that town. It had such a wholesome feel, the kind that felt like home. I felt like I survived some crazy adventure and now, I just wanted to bask in love with my community and experience the sensation of a warm bed to sleep in.
Knee Melter decided to walk into Canada and hitch back into the United States. He didn’t get a ride out, so he let me stay in his reserved room for the night. I got woken up by a super drunk girl crying and running around in the hallway who proceeded to throw up.