Day 92 7/30 0 miles
Took a zero today in Dubois. We’ve got some logistical limitations coming up due to permits in Yellowstone so it made sense to spend another night in town. Plus I didn’t sleep well on the floor of the church hostel last night so I could really use a night in a bed. This morning QB and I went to breakfast then to the laundromat with 3 cyclists riding their bikes across the country. JJ, Luke, and Isabella filled us in on their adventure and it sounded really awesome. Bike touring and thru hiking seem to be very similar in many ways and also have some key differences. I’ve never done any long distance biking but definitely would like to get into it. After laundry we parted ways with them as they headed west towards Jackson and eventually to the Oregon Coast. QB and I ate some more food and then found a room at the Black Bear Inn. This place was cool, they give thru hikers a break on the price(the owner’s son recently paddled the entirety of the Mississippi River, so they’re familiar with our lifestyle) and also have a nightly campfire beside the Wind River where they serve up all the fixings for s’mores. As I was sitting at the campfire two women came down, Deb and Cynthia, and I immediately recognized their familiar accents. These are my people. They’re from Ipswich, MA a half hour north of me and are out this way for a wedding and to explore the state. Since I’m from Lynn, Cynthia asked me if I knew her ski husband Lou(not her real husband just the guy she skis with). Yeah, I do know Lou, my parents are good friends with Lou and his actual wife Margie. Then I find out Cynthia knows both of my parents and has skied with them too since they’re all Sunday River regulars. Small world, but this stuff happens to me all the time. Some kind of mining operation in Dubois
Day 93 7/31 20 miles
After two really lousy nights of minimal sleep, I finally got some solid rest last night. This morning Queen B and I were making our way to Daytime Donuts for breakfast when we ran into Mac and then Appa, two guys who we met way down in the boot heel of New Mexico and haven’t seen since Silver City. It was fun catching up these two and were surprised to see them. While thru hiking you can get an idea of where people are if they’re ahead of you by seeing names in trail registers but it’s much harder to figure out what’s going on behind you. After eating a bunch of donuts we put our thumbs out and quickly got picked up by Andrew from Rhode Island, who’s taking a road trip cross country and checking out all kinds of national parks and cool places. He dropped us off at Togwotee Pass and at the same time Treeman was getting out of a car back on trail also. We haven’t seen this gigantic German since Ghost Ranch in northern New Mexico. Back on trail we hiked with him for awhile until he stopped to pick up a box at Brooks Lake Ranch and we carried on for a very pleasant 20 mile day. TreeMan a German giant at Brooks Lake Ranch
Day 94 8/1 30 miles
Shortly after breaking camp this morning we saw a mother moose with a baby in tow. I thought I saw another one a little later but turned out to be just a boring horse. It was a handful of horses actually with a couple of forest service workers at the Nawlin Cabin who were up there clearing trail. The trail today was pleasant and relaxing again with very few people on it. We heard about an awesome waterfall from a little kid on horseback(he wasn’t alone, out with his parents on a weeklong trip). The waterfall ended up being a great place to swim and eat lunch. Shortly after lunch we passed Two Ocean Creek and ‘the Parting of the Waters.’ This river flows right along the Divide and splits in half with one side emptying into the Pacific and the other to the Atlantic. I couldn’t decide which way to pee. Treeman leapfrogged us a handful of times today and this afternoon we saw him go the wrong way for the third or fourth time. This time he was too far ahead to get his attention and correct him so hopefully he realized his mistake sooner than later but we still haven’t seen him. Tonight we got just shy of the Yellowstone NP border and since we don’t have a permit to stay inside the park, have to camp here. Tomorrow the plan is to go 27 miles then hitch into Grant Village where we’ll stay at a pay campground before meeting with a ranger to get our permit situation taken care of. Moose! Boring horses
Day 95 8/2 27 miles
Today was quite pleasant. We immediately crossed the border into Yellowstone NP and this morning was rather crisp. Shortly after entering the park we had to cross the Snake River and it was SO COLD!! Plus it wasn’t an easy crossing, in order to avoid going up to our waists we had to walk diagonally through the river where the shallower parts were. My feet thawed after an hour or so and the rest of the morning we spent walking alongside the Snake River and then the Heart River. Treeman caught up to us after lunch and we walked together for a few miles while he told us about his misadventures walking the wrong way yesterday. Queen B and I stopped at Heart Lake to swim this afternoon and shortly afterwards ran into HoHo and Chicory who are hiking south. I’ve been on the same trails as these two for the last couple years but didn’t meet them until CDT Days in April this year. We’re starting to come across a fair amount of southbound hikers(sobos) and I would say they’ve got the right idea. If I was to hike this trail again I would probably hike south. After Heart Lake the trail turns right past a geyser field. All this geothermal activity doesn’t make much sense to me but it sure is cool to see. QB listened to a podcast about it once and told me how Yellowstone is an active super volcano and we’re walking right through the caldera.Crazy! We got to Grant Village this evening and since we didn’t have backcountry permits for tonight had to use the hiker walk in site at the campground here.the Snake RiverQB bathing in Heart Lake silly elk walked right into our campsite
Day 96 8/3 24 miles
I figured we wouldn’t have a problem getting permits to camp where we wanted for tonight so after breakfast we went into the ranger office to get that taken care of. Boy was I mistaken! We encountered a mean scary park ranger and she was not very accommodating for thru hikers. Now we had to figure out a way to hike through Yellowstone on our own terms without breaking any rules. So we hitchhiked north to Old Faithful Village and got a great ride from Tom and Kathleen, then walked south for 24 miles back to the Heart Lake trailhead where Colt and his family stuffed us into their car and brought us back to Grant Village. We ran into Mac and Appa at the restaurant and camped with them at the hiker walk in site. We were lucky the trail today was flat and easy because we didn’t get started until almost 11 and still had to walk a bunch of miles. There were barely any people in the backcountry and we came across an awesome geyser field just north of Shoshone Lake and had it all to ourselves. Tomorrow we’ll hitch again to OFV and rejoin the trail, hiking north and out of the park. Had a geyser field to ourselvesI crossed this river and it only went up to my ankles, QB decided to go her own wayShoshone Lake
Day 97 8/4 20 miles
This morning we broke camp and got two quick hitches back to where we got on trail yesterday but this time we’ll be heading north again. After about a mile we reached Old Faithful Village and saw the famous geyser erupt in the distance as we crossed the parking lot. We joined Bears, Flip Flop, and Tree Man at the buffet breakfast then went outside with the crowds to watch another Old Faithful eruption. QB and I did a minor resupply then checked out the museum in the lodge and watched a short film about geysers. When we left the lodge we were just in time for another eruption of the main attraction. 3 times in one day! I didn’t realize it until getting here but there is way cooler stuff besides O.F. here. Yellowstone is home to 2/3’s of the planet’s geysers(I learned this in the short film), and we walked along a bunch of them as well as these wicked cool looking hot springs. Check out my pictures below. The trail followed boardwalks around a lot these springs and geysers and after a few miles it cut left and we climbed up out of the caldera of the Yellowstone super volcano. Immediately after turning left we were alone. After seeing hundreds of people this morning at the village we saw a total of 6 others the rest of the day and that included 2 rangers on horseback. We stopped at Summit Lake for a swim this afternoon then walked through a wide open burn area before leaving Wyoming and crossing into Idaho. I loved Wyoming! The trail was diverse and incredible, the people were super friendly, and the towns unique and interesting. One of my favorite states I’ve ever walked through, I’ll be back for sure. The trail follows along the Idaho/Montana border for the next few hundred miles so I’ll be back and forth between these two states before leaving Idaho and heading the rest of the way to Canada through just Montana. We don’t have a permit for camping in Yellowstone tonight so after we crossed into Idaho we still had to go 3 more miles to get outside the Western Boundary of the park and that’s where we set up for the night. Old Faithful doing its thingwalked to Idaho, nbd
Day 98 8/5 19 miles so far
We got up this morning and have just been walking all day getting into the small resort town of Island Park, ID shortly before 2. Today consisted of a lot of road walking and although it’s not the most exciting I’m ok with some flat easy miles. We’ve got a few chores to do while in town and I heard there’s a good Mexican restaurant but the plan is not to stay here and to just carry on a few more miles this evening. First Idaho Sunset
For more pictures of this trip follow my insta @endlesspsummer
Until next time,
PS All My Love!!!
You’re not too far behind Speed, are you?
LOVED the photos and this entire post. Awesome! Mr. Shagwell and I have decided we’re going to the Yellowstone area next September for his birthday trip. We’re day hikers though, but being a geologist and all, I need to see these geothermal features once again. Last time I was there was probably over 50 years ago when I was just a sprite on a camping trip with my brothers and parents. 🙂 good times!
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I think Speed is like a week ahead. And thanks! Definitely go to Yellowstone, plus you’ll probably understand it a lot better than I can being a geologist