The Continental Divide Trail goes right through Old Faithful Village and past the Old Faithful Geyser. The CDT heads toward West Yellowstone before it crosses the Idaho border. Very few hikers travel this direction and I know why. The area has been slow to recover after the 1988 Yellowstone fire. The landscape is barren, dry and not very pretty.
Once I crossed the Idaho border the landscape improved dramatically. It was so nice to see everything green again. Mountains appeared but so did the climbs. The landscape is much different from what I experienced previously. The mountain slopes were covered with green grassy fields and it felt remote and wild. The only people I saw were some other Continental Divide thru-hikers going south.
I was caught on a high peak one day when a storm rolled in. What had been a nice sunny day turned violent in a matter of minutes. All of a sudden it was thundering and lightening with 40 to 50 mile winds and rain so cold that it began to sleet. The trail followed the ridge for several miles and there was nothing I could do but move forward. Fortunately, the flashes of lightning overhead never seemed to touch the ground. The weather was like Colorado’s weather – it seemed that every afternoon there was always the potential for a thunderstorm. The storms would arrive abruptly and end after a couple of hours when the sun would appear and become pleasant.
This section of the CDT is right on the border of Idaho and Montana so I never really knew which state I was in at any given time.
This was a hundred plus mile section and it took me 5 days. I stayed in a small town called Lima which was a train stop back in the Western days. Today, just a little over a hundred people live in Lima. The place I stayed was very inexpensive and the manager of the establishment picked me up at the trailhead so I didn’t have to hitch into town.