11th August  Friday
25 miles

Lucky deer as I was no hunter
After the four days of resting in Anaconda, I kind of feel it in my joints, knee and hip was a little sore this morning and even though I made camp yesterday early, I struggled to get going this morning.

The hill climbs are much easier and being sheltered by the large trees this morning enjoyable.  Stopped beside a lake for my second breakfast at 11 o’clock, very relaxing, I’m sure there were plenty of fish in the lake as I kept hearing splashing and the ripples of the water.

My goal was to only to do 20 miles today but it worked out to be more like 25 miles.  I had planned to camp on top of a pass, but there wasn’t much in the way of flat ground and when I did find one, I stopped and from  a distance I could hear movement in the forest, it sounded big with branches bigger than twigs breaking and as i had no idea what it was that was causing the noise, I thought it wiser to move on and find another spot.

Strange, a sleeping bag left behind just beside the trail, not a high quality bag more a bag for a day hiker, but on the same trail a couple of hours back, there was a jacket and a ground sheet for a tent hanging in the tree. Looks like it was left there today as it was still fresh. I wander what the store was, maybe someone wanting to lighten their backpack?  With the sleeping bag I took a photo and GPS co-ords of the location just in case.

Walking another two hours, where finally I found an area where it was flat , there was a motor home already there, I called out but no one responded so as it was just about to start raining, I setup camp at 7:30.

Nice and comfortable in my tent with my thermals on as it’s a little cold, about 10 minutes latter I heard something outside my tent, sounded like an animal and fearing for my walking sticks being eating again by chipmunks, I had a look.  It was only a deer which heard the zip of my tent and stood there just watching me.

Target shorting box, see picture  of deer

Luckily for the deer, I wasn’t the owner of the motor home as obviously they were hunters as next to where I placed my tent was a target box for hunters.