Wednesday, October 7, 2015

July 4 Day 69 Independence Day in Anaconda

I have to go back a bit, to getting into Anaconda, yesterday, which we did, via a terrible and long, hot, paved highway walk. ERG! I was trying to make phone calls to make the time pass, and NOBODY answered their phones!  What were you all doing at that time!? Painful really. We finally got to town and headed straight for the gas station/casino. I fed myself the most delicious gas station hot dog EVER! Papi took advantage of the casinos "free beer if you gamble" policy. We really just wanted cold things and a/c. Once we were recovered enough, we headed into town and caught up to the others at the hotel as well as Apache and Mehap who had been taking some time off with Mehap's family. Showers, and all that jazz. Dinner at my favorite trail restaurant so far, The Baron! Oh my goodness it was amazing!
(Mehap and Grim being themselves)

And so, on the 4th, everyone was excited about the parade. I'm not much for parades, or big crowds, so I decided to stay in and take care of some things.  For example, my NeoAir Thermarest had found itself with a leak the last week or so. I would wake up at night with parts of my body on the ground as opposed to NOT on the ground. I was lazy about it for a while, continuously blowing it up again throughout the night, but I'd finally had enough of my laziness. Fixed that problem, hooray!
(Papi in the back, Grim, Apache)

By 11am, I had gotten a message saying that everyone had misunderstood, and the parade was later in the day, but they were all at a bar and locals kept buying everyone drinks. So, having done a fair amount of journal catch-up and personal hygiene maintenance, I decided to venture out and join them. We had an awesome time, and it turned out the parade was passing right in front of the bar everyone was at, so we sat somewhere out of the way and watched the people of Anaconda celebrate.

 And then we all decided it was nap time.
(From left to right: Kramer's, Papi sitting up, Mehap in the blue, Apache, Beads underneath me)

The evening celebration was definitely the highlight. I have spent MANY a 4th of July at Warren, watching the little fireworks on the Athletic field, singing songs, wishing we could have those giant fireworks. Otherwise I've been abroad or way too close to the fireworks to really enjoy them. 

This, though, was really majestic. The managers of the hotel we were staying at invited us up in the back of their pick-up truck to watch from the best viewing spot in town, the cemetery. We all sat together and quietly enjoyed each other's company, the company of our amazing hosts, and the company of the giant fireworks in the distance, lighting up the mountainside.

Back in the hotel room, in the evening, after such a great few days together, we talked about hiker fatigue. The topic that none of us had wanted to broach, as it felt taboo to talk about how you didn't want to be out here in this beautiful place doing something people dream about, was finally out in the open. What a relief it was to talk about. It turned out just about everyone in our little group felt the same way. We were all exhausted. Whether it was just the heat, Montana, the flip, or something else, we didn't know. We all just knew that everyone was going through it. The CDT 2015 Facebook page was riddled with people dropping out or talking about leaving for no other reason than fatigue. It was like a mental virus or something.

Knowing that we were all feeling the same way helped us all to get back on trail the next day and keep walking.

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