Great Loop Section #3

9/13/14-9/17/14 180 miles down9 Mile Trailhead to Pebble Creek

We kicked off the third leg of our trip with the  longest day so far.  Zack and I had to get up early and hike 6 miles in order to meet up with Katie and Nic by 9:30am.  They pulled into the 9 Mile Trailhead right on time.  Once we had fully resupplied the four of us headed into Pelican Valley. Pelican Valley is a bear management area where no camping is allowed. Because of that we had to push another 14 miles up and over Mist Creek Pass to reach our designated site.   It was a long hard day for all of us.  We arrived at our site just as it was getting dark.  Nic saved the evening by making us all an amazing dinner!

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When we arrived to camp on the 16th there was a visitor in our camp.  As we came down the hill towards the site we noticed a bull bison in the middle of where we planned to camp.  He was grazing just feet from the exact spot we planned on pitching our tents.  We waited patiently outside of camp, cooking dinner and chatting while we waited for the bull to move along.  Eventually he mowed his way past the bear pole and just far enough outside of camp that we felt comfortable moving in.  The following morning it was very clear that our bison friend had made his way back into camp during the night.  None of us heard a thing during the night, but when we woke it was clear that the Bison had spent some time in a wallow within arms length of the tent Zack and Nic shared.  The big boy had left a fresh bison patty smack dab in the middle of our camp.

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Filtering water out of Cache Creek.

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Looking at the Thunderer from Chaw Pass.

Our final day as a foursome.  We made our way up and over Chaw Pass, and after a brief stint of road walking we made it to Pebble Creek campground, where Nic had parked his car.  We rigged a tarp over the back of the car to create some protection from the sun, while Zack and I sorted and packed our resupply for the next section. We said our goodbyes and headed out; Nic and Katie back to Bozeman, and Zack and I back to the trail!

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