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Day 11: 8/4/17: Granite Highline Trail to Grow Ventre River

Miles: 23 Steps: 50,754 Vertical gain: Strava knows! Liquid consumed: 168 oz

Wildlife: Moose that was way too close, birds, squirrels, mosquitos, biting flies, Elk, friendly dog Faith in Humanity: The one human I saw and briefly chatted with was really nice. About the best 45 second convo one could ask for!

Well well well: another great day. Exhausting though! I heard an animal in my general campsite area at about 3:30 in the morning. I yelled "Hey Animal, I'm in this campsite" hoping they understand English. It seemed to go away and back to sleep I went. First up was 5 or 6 miles to finish the wildflower overflowing Granite Highline Trail. Trail was easy to follow which was nice. I crossed a dirt road in the middle of somewhere, crossed Granite Creek, then headed steeply up the Swift creek trail, gaining almost 4,000 feet in 6 miles. I took it slow. I took numerous breaks. Step by step though, I got there. My fitness is improving some, but I need some more uphill fitness. It's all good training, right? I did run into a solo female hiker and her dog out for an overnight trip. She said she thought my trip so far sounded awesome. I didn't give her the whole Walk The Parks speech as we only interacted for a minute. She had a great time in her trip. Ok so listen: you can climb up the Swift Creek Trail and no one is on it and it leads to magical places! I was in the high alpine at the top and it was just gorgeous. A strong breeze helped ease the mid day heat. There were some snow patches to be walked over. Different types of wildflowers. It was great and doesn't look like it gets much traffic at all. Next up I walked the 14 mile Gros Ventre river trail. Starting above tree line the river was a trickle, that grew and grew as I walked down the valley. At one point the trail was quite close to the river and I heard a noise to look over and see a huge bull moose really close to me. Thankfully he ran away a bit, but kept turning back to look at me. Moose are known to charge at up to 100 yards away, thus not to be messed with. I checked out a cool waterfall on a side trail. Looked like the whole river, pretty big at this point went down a solid sloping rock for quite a while. Around 7pm I was pretty tired and decided to look for a camp site. I'm now snuggled in my sleeping bag writing this. I can hear the river in the background, a ways away, and I'm thinking about tomorrow. Looks like I have about 17ish miles back to the Continental Divide Trail, which I'll follow for quite a while! There's some bush whacking and a line that states "route finding is really challenging here" so we shall see! One step at a time...

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