Joker joined Team 3D and we enjoyed three days of ridge walking, mostly in gentle rolling hills reminiscent of the Yorkshire Dales (complete with cows in the lowlands). But the most remarkable thing about this section was the weather. Montana truly is “Big Sky” country and the sky is always doing something. We had intense cobalt blue skies, stratus clouds, cumulus clouds, cumulonimbus clouds, rain, wind, hail, sunshine and often all of the above at the same time. There were times when the sky became so dark and ominous you thought a tornado was on the way, only to the clouds lift 5 minutes later to unleash weather hot & humid enough to be Virginia. We had apocalyptic thunder and lightning storms that whipped tarps down and snapped stakes (but not the Hubba Hubba), we had plump rain drops fall under bright sunshine as vibrant rainbows shimmered. The sky is always doing something and we learned that usually that something is whatever you least expect.
July 2nd we arrived in Helena, the capital city of Montana. The whole day was soon eaten away by chores… this was supposed to be our first ZERO DAY ( a day when you walk 0 trail miles) but it sure didn’t feel like one when we walked about 5 miles around town. So we decided to stay at our quirky Lamplighter cottage one more night. Plus the other group had arrived in Helena too and their hotel has a hot tub!