Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Across the Bob—Day 15, the Final Day

I broke camp at 7:30 a.m. on the cold morning of August 15, and frozen condensation crackled as I crammed my tent into its stuff sack.  I knew it would be hot by noon, so I dressed in layers, pulling on long pants over my hiking shorts.

Cold morning on the Dry Fork.

The rising sun just touched the tops of the peaks to the west.

The North Fork of the Blackfoot River, near the confluence with the Dry Fork.

The trail crossed to the east side of the North Fork, passing through an old burn full of new growth. 


North Fork of the Blackfoot, farther downstream.  Closer to the trailhead I passed several small groups of fishermen. Civilization.


Back at the Dry Fork Divide on Day 14, the trail had crossed from the Bob Marshall Wilderness into the Scapegoat Wilderness, which is still part of the Bob Marshall Wilderness Complex and often lumped into part of what people mean when they refer to the "Bob."   About three miles from the trailhead, the trail left the designated wilderness area.

Sign at the ending trailhead.

At the parking lot I dropped my pack and went to see if my vehicle would start after sitting for 15 days.  It cranked right up.  The next issue was whether I wanted to sit in it, having gone so long without a shower.  I kept thinking about that Seinfeld episode where Jerry's car got indelible BO from a valet.  Luckily I'd remembered to leave a change of clothes and shoes in the back seat.  I used the car parked next to me as a screen as I shed the funky clothes, took a quick "bath" with a pack of baby wipes and put on clean duds.  All the dirty clothes, including shoes, went into a trashbag sealed up tightly for the trip home.  Driving was a strange experience after walking for 15 days.  When I got on the highway and got up to about 60, I felt like I was approaching the speed of light.

Now that I am back home, all I have left to do is to write a book about the trip.  I think it's going to turn out that backpacking 120 miles was the easy part.


  1. What an amazing journey! Thanks for sharing it with us, Cliff!

    I sure did enjoy the photos and your writing.

  2. Thanks, Mary. Now all I have to do is sit down and write the book. When I used to work construction in power plants and refineries, on just about every job, usually toward the beginning of the job, there was always someone who said "All we lack is finishing up." So that's where I am--all I lack is finishing up.