Day 83 7/21 3 miles
I’m glad we made it into South Pass City last night because the skies opened up again this morning. It was nice just laying in my tent waiting for the store to open rather than walk through the rain again. SPC was an old gold mining town that’s been continually inhabited since 1868. They have a little village there that’s either recreated or just hasn’t changed. The store in town accepts hiker packages and let us chill out inside sorting out our food while it hailed like crazy. The reenactors working in the little village said this weather is highly unusual. Cool! While talking with them I checked out the visitor center and read something about one of the original town members that shares my name a Mr. D.Carmody. Probably just a coincidence or maybe that’s why they were giving me free coffee. I’m pretty much royalty in this town. Since there really isn’t any other hiker services here, we were originally planning to just pick up our food boxes and carry on but decided to go into the City of Lander for the day. From SPC the trail goes 3 more miles to highway 28 and we got a couple of good hitches to get us the 35 miles into Lander. The main reason we had to go into town was to pickup bear spray and rope to make a bear hang since we will be getting into grizzly country in the next section. (This was an oversight when we were sending food to South Pass City from Steamboat, had we realized we would have to go into town anyway we could have just shopped at the supermarket here.) No big deal, Lander is a cool town and taking time off to rest is important and enjoyable. We spent the day eating, showering and doing laundry. For short money we camped in a nice field behind a hotel. Drive-By, Thor, and Scrapbook had a room at the hotel and tonight we hung out with them for awhile in their room. These guys have been right near us for a few weeks. It seems like there’s nobody else on this trail so it’s fun to hang out with some other hikers when we get the chance.South Pass Citythis was on the wall in SPC, read close
Day 84 7/22 21 miles
Before hitching back to the trail this morning we filled up on McDonald’s breakfast(I know I’ve said this before but I’ll say it again; their breakfast is totally underrated). We got a couple of good quick hitches, first a couple that was going climbing let us cram into their already packed truck and brought us 20 miles, then a woman who just got off shift as a helicopter paramedic brought us the rest of the way. Once back on trail we walked about 3 more miles of the Basin before we were back into the forest and climbing towards the Wind River Mountains. It was nice to have trees around for shade and especially nice to have plenty of water sources. This will be my first time hiking through grizzly country and I guess I’m a little nervous about it. Most likely it’s just something that I’ll have to be aware of and I’ll get more comfortable with as I get used to it. I’m not sure exactly where grizzly territory begins but from here on out I’ll be assuming they are nearby and will try to hike and camp safely. QB and I usually stick together while walking so if we aren’t carrying on conversation I’ll just let out a ‘whoop whoop’ once in awhile to alert the bears to our presence. I almost always sleep with my food but while in grizzly country I’ll be hanging it from a tree and for a last defense I’m carrying bear spray. The worst part about hanging my food is I usually wake up and eat snacks so I’ll need to get out of that habit starting tonight. Back in the trees againand water
Day 85 7/23 24 miles
This morning we entered the Wind River Range and there’s a quite a spectacular alternate off the trail called the Cirque of the Towers. We planned on taking this route and followed a valley for 6 miles before reaching a lake and a steep pass with an unexpected super snowy traverse. The lake was still mostly frozen and it had to have been the coldest water I ever swam in. We ate lunch at the lake watching a few hikers attempt the pass and turn around. Queen B and I both mailed our ice axes and microspikes home weeks ago and didn’t anticipate getting into another situation with the snow. We didn’t have any information on the other passes of the alternate so decided to return the 6 miles to the official route and continue north on the CDT. It was disappointing to not see the Cirque of the Towers but I definitely plan on coming back. This alternate is part of the Wind River High Route and I’d love to hike that trail another time. The 12 miles of back and forth cost us half a day but the scenery was absolutely stunning and well worth it. Once back on the official route we walked for a couple more hours before setting up for the night.We just walked out of the desert yesterday
Day 86 7/24 30 miles
The trail this morning wasn’t well traveled or well maintained. It wasn’t easy for about 10 miles going over and around lots of blowdowns and a handful of times we went the wrong way because intersections weren’t marked. All this slowed us down but eventually we passed a popular trailhead and the trail opened up. As we walked by lots of lakes we had huge views of some big time mountains. I met 4 girls who had road tripped from Massachusetts to hike out here and got my first, ‘Lynn, Lynn, City of Sin’ in awhile. Besides that snarky comment they were really nice and were only a couple degrees of separation from me since they knew people I knew. Shortly after meeting them we stopped for lunch and Queen B and I had a very refreshing swim in Dad’s Lake where we met another thru hiker, Jeremy. After lunch this afternoon went smoothly. There were a few river crossings that were deeper than normal(about thigh deep) and some awesome views of the Winds. We stopped for supper around 7 and then for the last hour walked into a wall of mosquitoes. This mosquito situation was as bad as any I’ve ever been in. Other than that, great day.
Day 87 7/25 27 miles
The plan for today was to walk 17 miles to a side trail, the Pole Creek Trail, then walk 10 more to a trailhead where hopefully we could hitch into Pinedale to resupply and spend the night. Immediately this morning the bugs were bad. I wore long pants and sleeves all day, even wore a head net until they subsided a little. The head net doubles as a clothes bag and triples as my pillow but this was the first time I put it on my head, forgot I even had it but it sure came in handy. Besides the bugs, today was incredible, some of the best scenery I’ve ever walked through. The Winds are filled with jagged granite peaks and lots of water. It was awesome. We walked over a few snowy passes and through some pretty deep river crossings(waist deep) before reaching the side trail. The Pole Creek Trail was pleasant and easy and mostly downhill. I know 1 person in Wyoming. So of course I run into her on horseback about halfway down this side trail. I met Nina in April of ’15 when we were both starting our thru hikes of the PCT. I knew she was living near Pinedale and had planned on getting in touch but I had no idea what she was doing up here. She’s working as a horse packer for Nols and her and Lila were bringing supplies up to the students in the Winds. The two of them plus five horses followed us down to the lot and they brought us back to the Nols 3 Peaks Ranch in Boulder for the night. A bed, a shower, laundry and a help yourself kitchen with tons of food. I mean this is absolutely incredible! To be fair there really isn’t that many people in Wyoming but the chances are still pretty slim. If these pictures don’t do it for you check out my insta for more pics if you want @endlesspsummerin full mosquito protection Hat PassOur host and Trail Angel Nina cooking breakfast at the 3Peaks Ranch
Until next time,
PS All My Love!!!