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Home » Adventures » Glacier Highline Trail » East Glacier

Hiking Out and Going Home

East Glacier

Route I hiked this day

Route I hiked this day

With the last of my food gone I was up walking with the sunrise to get into town early and scavenge some eats. Thankfully my body knows when no food is available and does not get overly hungry in such situations so my lack of morning sustenance was not that painful. I really felt like I was back on the CDT now, as during my thru hike I walked into almost every trail town in the morning without having eaten breakfast.

The final few miles were genteel and downhill, although lots of bear tracks and scat were present, but no furry friends said hello. Thankfully when I reached East Glacier trail rumor proved wrong, and the community was still mostly open; beds were to be had at the hostel and a couple restaurants as well as the grocery store were open. I finally had a lazy day in town, just eating and doing laundry for the sake of people on my upcoming train ride, but otherwise lounging around for some much needed R&R.

At night I had trouble falling asleep — not sure if a bed was too soft after months of just a sleeping pad or if the room’s stuffiness was a bigger factor.

Train Ride Home

I rushed to the train station early in the morning to meet my scheduled departure, only to find that of course Amtrak was already thirty minutes behind. When I boarded the trip was uninteresting as I read and slept across the plains the whole day.

Although running roughly on time when I fell asleep, overnight in North Dakota the train barely moved and was eight hours late by the next morning. The train never made up any time either as we crawled across the Midwest. I originally intended to disembark in St. Paul to attend a taping of a Prairie Home Companion, figuring the nine hour gap between my train’s scheduled arrival and the start of the show to be sufficient even for Amtrak. Not so though, as I would have missed the performance. So I was lucky this taping of a Prairie Home Companion had already been canceled for the host to have a medical procedure, and I was going all the way through to Chicago. I was also able to make a day trip to the Twin Cities a couple weeks later and see the show in person, so everything worked out.

Amtrak at least provided a free dinner in the dining car, before we finally arrived in Chicago at 1:15 a.m., nine hours late. My mom was going pick me up in the afternoon when we were scheduled to arrive but not in the middle of the night. In the closed Union Station I semi-legitimately stayed in Amtrak’s VIP with passengers who had missed connections, even if I was at my final destination. When a more reasonable hour finally came, my mom drove in to get me — at least she naturally wakes up very early.