We are almost through the Big Sky State. We are in Ennis, MT and should be at West Yellowstone in a few days. We have been pretty indolent in our travels through this section. Coming out of Whitehall we entered the gorgeous Tobacco Roots Mountain Range. After confabulating with some locals in Whitehall, we were warned that there are grizzlies and lots of black bears roaming about. Unfortunately we have seen very little evidence of ursine activity. On the third day of our trek through this beautiful section we traversed past the 9400 ft Nicholson Mine. The walk up provided us views of discarded mining equipment and abandoned living quarters. Evidently, it was a primarily a gold and silver mine. It has been run continuously since its beginning in the early century. I found a great piece of quartz walking over Hollowtop Pass and have picked up several other possibly gold-encrusted rocks. I have been carrying a smooth river rock for a couple hundred miles now. I find that it keeps me centered throughout the day. The rock is split in half as if it was literally torn across. We have made a decision to continue hiking the lower mileage days. We are not necessarily thinking about completion of the trail as a thru-hike this year but still not given up hope. That being said, taking it slower has been extremely nice. I know a lot of North Bounders this year are churning out the 30+ mile days trail pounding and walking from dawn to dusk. Steady nor me find this enjoyable. We would rather get to camp around 3pm read, write, watch clouds, or hang out down by the plentiful rivers in these sections. I have started writing my book on my thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail from eleven years ago and love the time out in the wilderness to capture the details and nuances that only being in the woods and away from the city can afford. Once we get to Yellowstone, we plan on going through Old Faithful and some of the touristy places since Steady has never been there. The CDT has felt like a nice several month-long summer vacation at this point. I personally am looking extremely forward to the Wind River Mountains after Yellowstone. I will be back in my native state and on my slow walk home.