The early morning temperature hovers just below 40 degrees F. I bundle up in my favorite fleece lined jacket listening to the toot of the long SFN [Santa Fe- Burlington Northern] freight train. The tracks give me confidence that I am headed in the right direction, despite the morning mist, and once again I am able to avoid freeway number 90. Surely this train twists and turns into Butte still a few days walk east. As the day wears on I alternate between the Mullen Road, the track siding, and mountain side ranch roads which all seem to suddenly disappear at a dead end.
Over a hill there is Drummond â€“ a real cow poke town. Matzner’s Livestock has an array of wooden stalls, shuts and holding pens. Their motto, “Used Cows Here” The town is at altitude, 3948 feet â€“ population 333. Oops, a waitress recalls that there was a recent birth in town, stands on a chair, and changes the chalk board hanging precariously above the hamburger grill to the corrected peopleÂ number, 334.
After having walked 439 miles my small left toe is irritated from slipping through the hole I have cut through the seam of my shoe. I lace up a brand new pair and wobble comfortably along.