Rich here ...This is the day it all starts. But, let's back up a little. Pretty much all winter, we have listened and watched as Jason planned for the CDT. We wanted to be a bit more of the journey this time, so asked if we could take Jason to the trailhead in Waterton. He accepted! (We knew he would) He once again wanted to start on his birthday. What a great way to begin a journey. We planned the trip to start the hike with him from Waterton, and we would hike the first 8 miles with him to the end of the lake, and then catch the baot ride back to the townsite. Well, as he mentioned, he could not get his itinerary to start at Waterton, so we decided to go a day early and we would all ride the boat up the lake and hike the 8 miles back to the townsite, partly because Jason really wanted to cross the border at Waterton, and partly so we could have just alittle time on the trail together. So, on June 14th, we left our little bit of heaven in Plain, WA and headed for Canada. As it turned out, we have friends, Paul and Stacie, that live in Bellevue, AB .. just 1.5 hr. from Waterton. We call them up to see if they can put us up for the night, and they readily agree. We left at 5:30 am and got to their house at 7:30 pm. They turned out to be true Trail Angels. They not lonly provided great overnight accommodations, but had lasagna waiting. After dinner we walked across the street to the Ice Cream Shop. If you ever go by Bellevue, be sure to stop at the Ice Cream Shop. It is almost as good as what we make! In the end, Stacie agrees to take the boat ride and hike with us, Paul, a vetenarian, had to work. And, they agreed to put us up for a 2nd night. That Friday hike on the 15th was wonderful. We had a really great time together, and Jason bought dinner!
Saturday morning, June 16th, up at 7:00 and ready to go. But, Jason is still adding to the blog, and still organizing his pack. So, I get lessons from Paul and Stacie about roasting coffee (they have their own Nesco coffee roaster. It is fabulous!) In the meantime, while Jason is doing his thing on the computer, Paul and Cindy put together an impromptu cake, Stacie has a Birthday banner, and we get to sing Happy Birhtday to Jason. Finally, at 10:30, we head for the trailhead at Chief Mountain.
The trailhead at Chief Mt. pretty much is right at the border crossing. We take photos of Jason's first steps, then decide to walk the first 1/4 mile with him. We give hugs, and watch him leave. I actually had teary eyes, but I don't think Jason saw them! It was pretty emotional.
The rest of the day we spend driving around the East side and South side of Glacier Park. A beautiful drive. We had lunch at St. Mary Lodge, and stopped in East Glacier for a walk around the Lodge, and tried to imagine where the trail entered East Glacier and left. Then, on to Kalispell for the night.