Day 57: Surprisingly Easy

Miles Hiked 24.5

Total Milage: 911.6

Location: North Three Island Creek

This morning we all woke up at 5:30 and started hiking around 6am. Before we left I got some good stretching in. Hummingbird and I lead the way for a little bit at the start of the day. We were walking on a dirt ATV road with lots of blown down trees on either side. Thank goodness the trees were all cut and moved to the side of the trail for the most part, otherwise it would have been a nightmare to hike through so many fallen trees. Before we took our first break, we passed another hiker going Northbound with Snowshoes and Spikes hanging off of his pack. Hummingbird knew him from earlier down the trail. He is trying to hike the great western loop which includes the PCT, AZT, GET, CDT, and PNWT in one year. I would guess this is about 8,000 miles long. I believe only two other people have done it. Hummingbird told me that he had to average 35 miles per day to make it happen. I really hope he’s able to finish it because it would be so impressive!

The miles flew by so fast and easy today which I was not expecting at all. We were below 10000 feet for most of the day and there wasn’t anywhere near as much snow as I expected. The only time I hiked through a lot of snow was the small portions that we were over 10000 feet. I listened to my favorite podcast for the first half of the day. It’s called Backpacker radio, they have interesting guests and it makes me laugh so much. For lunch we took a break in a nice green meadow with lots of yellow flowers and a great view. After lunch we had to cross lots of creeks that were absolutely raging. The snow melt makes them flow very strongly, some of the crossings were a little stressful for me because fast moving water gives me a lot of anxiety. A bridge was out over one of the more dangerous crossings and we had to road walk around it.

Near the end of the day, I stepped off the trail to let a group of 6 horses and 6 dogs pass by. Seeing all the dogs made me so happy. We all planned to camp together at North Three Island Creek but when Hummingbird and I got there we couldn’t find 12 Pack anywhere. He was definitely ahead of us. We looked all around for him before walking a little further to the next nice looking camping spot to set up our tents. I assumed he wanted to camp alone since I couldn’t find him. For dinner I made some Ramen. When I opened my food bag, the container of cheese dip I was carrying had exploded all over everything. I accidentally got cheese everywhere. Im really hoping a hungry bear doesn’t wander near by tonight. I saw some bear poop and fur on the trail right before camp. About an hour after we got to camp, 12 Pack showed up. He told us he got lost from some directions that trail maintainers had given him. I was so happy he showed up! We plan to wake up at 4:30 tomorrow so I am going to sleep pretty early.

Happy Trails!

-Early Bird

Day 56: Colorado Border Round 2!

Miles Hiked: 20.5

Total Milage: 887.1

Location: Wyoming/ Colorado State Border

This morning I woke up around 6am to start getting my things packed up. Ari drove us back to the trail and we got there at 7am. Soars and Flash didn’t come along because Soars stepped on a tent stake last night and it cut deep into his heel. They were staying in town to figure out what to do about his injury. When Ari dropped us off, he hiked up the trail with us for about a mile. He carried 12 packs pack because it is the heaviest. I can tell he really misses thru hiking. It was so great to meet him and amazing that we were able to get a ride back to the trail at the perfect time! I’m sure we would have been in town for hours trying to hitch out.

The trail was completely covered in snow again as I expected. I assume we won’t see very much actual trail between here and our next town, Steamboat Springs, Colorado. Even though it was early in the morning, the snow was still soft and we were post holing. It was absolutely exhausting. We had to cross quite a few small rivers that were very full of freezing snow melt. Everytime I had to do it my feet would ache for a few minutes because if how cold it was. Some of the crossings were above my knees and flowing very fast.

About 4 miles and two hours of hiking in, Jenga caught up to us and told us he wanted to bail. We took a break to give him some time to think about what he wanted to do next and come up with a plan. I’m so bummed I won’t be hiking with my friend Jenga for a long time, if ever again on this trail. I know it was a really hard decision for him to make and it broke my heart to see how sad he was. He was struggling the most in the snow of the four of us, and he was definitely not interested in hiking 85 miles straight through the snow. I don’t blame him at all. I’m expecting this week to be one of the physically hardest weeks Ive ever had on a thru hike. I gave Jenga a big hug before we parted ways.

The rest of the day Hummingbird, 12 pack and I stuck together. We will most likely be hiking all day everyday together for this next stretch. There is a lot of snow and it’s not the best idea to head out for this challenging section alone. Not only that, but traveling as a group is very advantageous for many reasons. The three of us all took turns leading the way by cutting footsteps into the snow for others to follow and navigating as a group. Navigating in the snow is really difficult. Luckily the trail was marked with posts about as tall as me which helped us so much today. Even though the trail was marked it was still hard to find the posts because they would blend in with the trees, some were almost covered to the top in large snow drifts, and some were further apart than others. It was still tough but made a lot easier by the posts.

We took a break about every 4-6 miles because of how exhausting all the snow hiking was. We started post holing more and more as the day went on. The snow kept getting softer and softer. I honestly don’t mind it too much when it’s all slush but sliding backwards or sinking every time you take a step is so tiring. About 10 miles into the day we reached our highpoint on the trail and started descending. The snow almost disappeared! I was so happy to see an actual trail for once. The hiking was still difficult because we are starting to climb steep mountains for the first time on this trail and there were lots and lots of blown down trees we had to clamber over which is not easy to do with a heavy pack weighing you down. There were thunderstorms predicted for this afternoon and I was really hoping it wouldn’t happen. The sky got darker around 2pm and stayed that way for the rest of the day. Before the clouds, I was absolutely roasting in the sun. Sweat was dripping off my head, I could smell my sunscreen, and I would guess it to be about 85 degrees while I was slushing through knee – ankle deep snow constantly.

We did a little dirt road walk around one part of the trail to avoid some un necessary elevation gain and a bog. After such a hard day and so many more hard days to come it didn’t care. We might as well take a chance to avoid as much very difficult snow as we can. It’s very likely that whole section of trail was covered in deep snow drifts because it was at a higher elevation. Around 6pm we reached the Colorado Border! The thunder was starting to boom very loudly as we took our pictures. As soon as we found a spot, we wasted no time setting up our tents. As soon as I crawled into mine and got everything inside, the rain started to come down. Luckily it only lasted about an hour. For dinner I made hash browns minus the frying part with some jalapeno cheddar cheese dip. It was very filling and awesome to eat after such an exhausting day. I’m so happy we made such good timing to camp! There were a couple times today where I questioned if we would even be able to make it to the border tonight because we were having to hike so slow. Not only did we make it, but we made it in great time! I’m feeling a lit more optimistic about tomorrow.

For the rest of the night, I relaxed in my tent and spent over two hours writing my blog. I had to catch up on three days of writing! I really hate falling behind but I also love to just fall asleep and not do anything at camp. Either way, I’ll be really glad I wrote about everyday in the end.

Happy Trails!

-Early Bird

Day 55: Encampment, Wyoming

Miles Hiked: 11.4

Total Milage: 866.6

Location: Lazy Acres Campground, Encampment Wyoming

Last night I didn’t sleep well at all. I haven’t been sleeping well for the past three nights which is really frustrating for me. I planned to wake up at 5:30 am but since I was already awake, I made some hot chai tea around five. I started to hear some voices and got very excited because I thought it was Hummingbird and Jenga! I was really confused when I saw two different hikers but I recognized then as some other thru hikers I met in Chama. Their names were Flash and Soars. Right after they passed and said hi, Jenga and Hummingbird came along right behind them. I was so happy that everyone woke up so early and was already hiking! 12 pack and I ended up packing up as fast as we could to join in right behind them. We were all on the trail before 6am.

The trail continued to be almost completely covered in snow for the rest of the day. There were a few dry patches here and there but not much. The first three miles were the hardest. The temperature didn’t drop below freezing last night so all the snow below 10k feet was still very soft and we were all post holing. It was so exhausting. When we found another dry spot after lots of uphill climbing we took a break to eat some food and make snow cones. The sun was beating down on us and it was very hot. I taped up my feet because I have some blister hot spots that have been bothering me for several days.

After the break we continued hiking through wide open fields of snow. We were now above 10k feet and having a little bit easier of a time walking on top of the snow. Now we could move about 2.5 miles per hour instead of one mile per hour. The snow was absolutely blinding with the sun reflecting off of it. I had my sunglasses on all day because it hurt to take them off. I’m thinking about getting a nicer pair because of how much time I’m about to be spending in the snow. My current pair I got for free from a hiker box and they are pretty scratched up. Navigating in the snow is really hard because you can’t see a trail. Ocasionally I would see an old melted our foot print here and there but for the most part we were all making fresh tracks. Around 11am we reached the summit of Bridger Peak and hung out for a while to enjoy the views before our downhill descent to the highway.

The decent was a lot easier than I thought it would be, I mostly just sloshed lots of snow around and tried not to slip and fall. All of us took turns falling down in the slipper snow all day. When we reached the highway Soars and Flash had been there trying to hitch into town for an hour but they only saw four cars. We all ended up hanging out on the side of the not so busy highway for about 3-4 hours before a Riverside local picked us up. We were so desperate we tried calling a campground and hotel in town to see if they knew of anyone we could pay to come pick us up and bring us back. No luck with that. Dan, who ended up picking us up originally drove by twice in an SUV with his dog and wife. When they saw we were there for such a long time he let us know he would be back with his pick up truck to come get us. Dan came to get us around 3:30 and drove us about 15 minutes in to town. Hummingbird and I got to sit inside the truck and we chatted with him about the area and the trail. He dropped us off at Lazy Acres Campground and gave us all the information about town that we needed to know. Thank you Dan!

When we got to the campground we checked in and immediately went to get food. First we went to the small grocery store to see if they had enough food for us to resupply. They did! I was very surprised because we heard that we would probably have to hitch to the next town over to find a grocery store with enough food. I really did not want to stand on the side of the road for any longer today and waste time getting back to the trail tomorrow. Obviously hitching is not easy around here. After grabbing my resupply, we all went across the street to the Bear Trap cafe where I got a burger and salad for lunch. I was absolutely hungry.

We ended up camping at Lazy Acres for $12 per person. It was right next to the grocery store and restraunt and the Encampment River was on the property. A perfect spot! At the campground we met Shawn Cheshire. She is a blind lady in the middle of a 3,900 mile bike ride across America. When she finishes she will be the first blind person to complete a coast to coast road biking tour! She has an amazing crew of people guiding her, running support and filming a documentary. We ended up hanging out with all of them for the rest of the night. One of the people who came to join her crew for a week is ab AT thru hiker. His name is Ari aka Ziploc and he finished the AT in 2006. He was absolutely ecstatic to see thru hikers. We spent all night talking to him about trail things. He bought us a beer at the bar across the street and offered to drive us back to the trail in the morning. He said he would have to do it before 7am which was so perfect! We kind of needed to be on the trail as early as possible to have the best chance at traveling on top of the snow. I was so happy we had a ride arranged and Ari was great to hang out with. If you’re interested in following along Shawn’s incredible journey I will include a picture of her information.

When we went to the Bear Trap cafe across the street for Beer with Ari and Shawn’s crew, they had a live music event which was really fun. We all left around 9pm to go to bed. Us hikers have a long 20 mile day in the snow ahead of us and Shawn and Ari have a 70+ mile day of riding a bike up and down a mountain pass. 8pm is considered midnight for us. The live music across the street ended up playing until 11pm. All of us were hanging out in the laundry room because we were grumpy about not getting sleep. The music was so loud and we couldn’t believe how late it continued. I didn’t sleep well for another night.

Happy Trails!

-Early Bird

Day 54: Complete Exposure and Koolaid Snowballs

Miles Hiked: 26.4

Total Milage: 855.2

Location: Creek/ Deep Jack Trailhead

This morning I woke up with dew all over all of my things. This means I’ll have to not forget to dry out my sleeping bag and puffy jacket at lunch. Luckily I woke up around 5:30 without an alarm. I didn’t end up moving around until 6am but it was still a lot earlier than yesterday! I hit the trail around 6:15 am and I was really happy to hike for an extra 1.5 hours before the heat of the day started to get bad. I left camp with Hummingbird and 12 pack but Jenga decided to sleep in. I was hoping he would at least catch up to me at a break later!

I had some service this morning so I gave my boyfriend a call. It’s always nice to talk to someone when I’m hiking. Usually the bad service is really frustrating but I got to talk to him for about 30 minutes before losing service. I took a break with 12 pack hoping Jenga would catch up, but no luck. Our first water source was a small river about 12 miles from camp. It was one of the nicer sources I’ve had in a while. The water was clear and very cold. I took advantage of soaking my feet and shins until I saw a snake swimming in the water so I jumped out. The day was getting very hot already and it was only 11am! We have been walking for days and days without any shade and it’s starting to take a toll. The last few days have been especially hot and sunny. I’m not great at remembering to reapply sunscreen but I try to!

After the river I hiked up a very steep trail next to a fence before walking across a field and on to a highway. I walked on the highway for about 3 miles before hitting a dirt road again. I took a break around 2pm with Hummingbird and 12 Pack. Still no sight of Jenga. The day just kept getting incredibly hotter. I was eager to get to camp so I kept hiking even though it was at the hottest part of the day. I eventually saw some trees and shade for the first time in about 150 miles today! I didn’t end up taking advantage of it though. The last 10 miles to camp I felt like I was hiking so slow. My back was cramping up and I felt like I could tell that the heat was taking a toll too. I stupidly took all of my breaks in direct sunlight and felt like I was roasting. The longest one was on top of a ridge with a great view and good cell service so I felt like it was justified.

As I hiked the rest of the way to camp, I started to see patches of snow on and near the trail. Ocasionally I’d grab a handful, squirt some liquid Koolaid drink mix on it and eat it like a snow cone. I ended up eating quite a bit of snow before arriving at the Deep Jack Trailhead where I met up with 12 Pack who was taking a break. We both wanted to camp there but we were also out of water so we hiked one more mile to a creek. I left Jenga and Hummingbird a note to let them know I went a little further to the water and that they should come join us! As soon as we left the trailhead, we started walking through patchy snow until we got to the creek. I was a little worried about finding a spot to camp since I hardly saw any places without snow on the ground. It was ideal, but we were able to find a bare spot near the water. I made some mashed potatoes for dinner and waited for Jenga and Hummingbird to show up. They never ended up making it to camp with us. I was a little bummed but I’m sure I’ll see them tomorrow! They most likely had water and decided to camp at the trail head. Honestly, it was probably a better spot I just don’t like carrying extra water weight when I can just walk one more mile to get it. Tomorrow we will be waking up early to hopefully be able to walk on top of the snow before it gets so warm that we start post holing.

Happy Trails!

-Early Bird

Day 53: Crawfish party in Muddy Creek

Miles Hiked: 20.3

Total Milage: 828.8

Location: Fenced Spring

This morning I slept in with everyone else because I was so tired. I didn’t sleep well at all last night. I absolutely hate getting a late start to the day. It makes the day feel so much longer and I feel like I hike a lot slower. It’s hard because most other people like to sleep in and if I leave camp early I will likely not see anyone for a while, if not until the end of the day. We all stopped for water at a small cow pond one mile into the day. It was another 10 miles to our next water source at Muddy Creek.

We walked along a semi paved gravely road for most of the day which really hurts my feet but at least it’s not pavement. Near Bridger Pass we met another hiker going Northbound named Yard Goat He also hiked all of New Mexico before flipping north. He plans to finish in Colorado. I highly doubt he sees another hiker for a couple more days because the other hikers we saw going Northbound are a few days ahead of him. Shortly after meeting him we all took a break, the day was getting hot fast. Jenga checked the temperature here and it was about 80 degrees.

We continued on to another break at Muddy Creek. The Creek was indeed very muddy but when you scooped the water out to drink it, it was almost clear. I still didn’t like the taste of the water at all though. I was so hot I was tempted to get into the water, but I really didn’t like how I couldn’t see the bottom. While I was thinking about it, 12 pack noticed that there was a very large Crawfish swimming around the shore. We then noticed that there was a lot more than just one crawfish, there were several! I definitely wasn’t going to get in the water now. I soaked my sun hoodie in the water before hiking on and it was dry within two miles of hiking. Its crazy how hot it was! Jenga also checked the temperature for a second time here because we all thought it was getting hotter. This time the thermometer read 90 degrees. I’m glad I’m here now and not in July!

After muddy creek, I planned to make it all the way to our camping spot at a fenced spring. I had the option to take a shortcut on the old CDT via an old jeep trail so I tried it. It was a mistake. Right before meeting back up with the trail, the old road I was walking on ended and turned into a wall of Aspen trees. I bushwacked through them like the route suggested and it was very painful. It was a very dense stand of young trees and there was hardly anywhere to stand except on top of tons of branches. My ice axe kept getting caught on everything and all the branches kept swinging back to smack me in the face. I was screaming and cussing, when I finally got back to the trail I sat down to take a break and wait for Jenga and Hummingbird even though I was only 1.5 miles from camp. 12 pack was near me during the awful bushwack and thinks he could have possibly broken a finger if not, jammed it really hard. Eventually Jenga and Hummingbird showed up. They said they had to bushwack through a ton of Aspen trees too but 12 pack and I didn’t hear them yelling about it like us. They took a slightly different route that may have been the better choice.

When we got to the spring, I was so happy to get some really nice water for the first time in a long time. It was flowing strong and clear out of a pipe. We all slept outside the fence across from the spring.

Happy Trails!

-Early Bird

Day 52

Miles Hiked: 18.5

Total Milage: 808.5

Location: SOBO mile 1395

Today I slept in until 8am. Usually it’s hard for me to do this, so I was very happy! Once everyone was awake we l packed our bags to hit the trail. Before leaving, I picked up an iced coffee at McDonalds and my friends grabbed some tacos from Taco John next door. We walked through the down town section of Rawlins before exiting on a paved road. Eventually the road turned to dirt and we were back in the wide open desert. around 3pm I crested a small ridge and dropped down into a valley I will be walking in for the next two days. I took a break for lunch with everyone else. I ate my Greek layer dip with pretzels.

The rest of the day we continued to walk on dirt roads. The water carries were long of course but we are pretty used to them. It seems like water is more sparse in this section compared to the Basin north of Rawlins. We set up camp pretty late around 7:30. I made some tofu miso soup for dinner before falling asleep.

Happy Trails!

-Early Bird

Day 51: Memorial Day on the side of a highway

Miles Hiked: 13

Total: 790

Location: Rawlins, Wyoming

This morning I woke up early and got a breakfast burrito from Taco John’s right next to our hotel. Once everyone else was awake 12 pack and I made some cardboard signs for our road walk on the side of the highway. We needed one for hitching and the rest were just for fun. I emptied my pack as much as I could and only carried things I might need on the walk and left the rest behind. It was really nice to carry a light pack today especially on a highway road walk. 12 pack and I left around 10am and started walking north on highway 287. It was memorial day and there was lots of traffic. I don’t really like walking on the side of a highway but strangely I’m getting used to it. I’ve always wanted to bike tour but I thought I would hate being by cars so much. Now that I’ve walked on the side of the highway for long stretches I think I could do it, I just don’t like how you are supposed to ride your bike with traffic and you can’t see anyone coming from behind you. I guess that’s why people wear helmet mirrors!

While we were on the highway we had two people pull over and ask us if we were okay and needed a ride. I thought it was super nice of them to check on us without any prompting but they must have thought that we are absolutely crazy. Over the course of the walk 12 pack got 7 cars and one bicycle to think their horns. He was sad it wasn’t more! I enjoyed drinking some strawberry banana body armour drinks I got in town. They were very hydrating and really nice to have during the sucky walk. Eventually we reached our spot where we got picked up before. We ate a slice of pizza and stuck out our thumbs. It was about 20 minutes before a Tesla car pulled over and picked us up. Two guys at the beginning of a six month road trip picked us up. They were super cool and wanted to know all about our hike.

They dropped us off at the ace hardware in town where we got gas canisters to cook dinner with. We then walked to a tai restaurant that I had been thinking about all week. They were closed! We met up with Jenga and Hummingbird and walked all over down town looking for a place to eat. I think a lot of places were closed for memorial day. We eventually found a sports bar called Buck’s. It was delicious and I was very full. After lunch/dinner we walked back to the hotel and stopped at an interesting gas station to take some goofy pictures along the way. At the hotel I relaxed for the rest of the night and picked up a resupply from the grocery store next door. It should take us about 4 days to hike to Encampment Wyoming.

Happy Trails!

-Early Bird

Day 50: Day 50!

Miles Hiked: 27

Total Milage: 777

Location: Rawlins, Wyoming

Today 12 pack and I woke up to clouds of fog rolling over our camping spots. I was really hoping it wouldn’t rain last night because I couldn’t set up my tent. I slept in until 7:30ish and we started hiking around 8 which is pretty late for me. The morning was spent hiking a flat road through the chilly fog until the sun started to burn it off. We eventually could see the hills in the distance again although it did look like it was going to storm for the rest of the day. Around 10am we got to call our friend Jenga. He told us he got a hotel with Hummingbird in Rawlins and that we could get there and crash tonight if we wanted to. Of course 12 pack and I both really wanted food and a bed, but more importantly we would get to see Jenga again! This motivated us to get to town tonight. We didn’t even need to change our daily milage plan to do it, we just needed to walk to the highway and get a hitch.

The rest of the day 12 pack and I talked to the cows every time we passed them. I really wanted a cute calf to follow me to town. The cows are so skiddish they start to run the second you get close to them. I got water at Bull Spring and took a break before the long push I planned to do without stopping. At one point we crested a ridge and I could see so far in the distance, the highway we would finish the day on was in my sight and I knew I had to walk about 9 miles to get there. I could literally see the turn I was going to make in 9 miles. When I got service, I called my boyfriend and talked to him for a bit which was really nice. Eventually I caught back up to 12 pack and we did the walk on pavement together or at least close by. Walking on pavement really sucks.

We walked along a paved road with almost no traffic for about 4-5 miles before we took a right turn on to highway 287. Almost a mile into our highway walk we both walked close to a rattlesnake at the same time. It was shaking it’s tail, hissing and lunging at us. I ran around it was fast as I could and as safe as I could without getting into incoming traffic. My adrenaline was pumping for the next mile or so. Eventually we reached the place on the highway Jenga told us to hitch from. Around that spot I happened to find a piece of cardboard so we made a sign to hitch with. A very nice man named Diego picked us up in his truck. He had never heard of thru hiking or any of the long distance trails before and thought that we were absolutely nuts. When he asked us where we needed to go, we told him Rawlins. He said he would drop us off anywhere so we told him our hotel, the Econolodge with Jenga. It just so happened that Diego was staying there too and driving straight there to begin with, what a coincidence! He was in town for work.

We got dropped off at the hotel and crashed in Jenga and Hummingbird’s room. It was so nice to see them! This is where I met Hummingbird for the first time, I’m excited to hopefully get to hike with her! As soon as we could, 12 pack and I ordered wings and pizza for dinner. I was thinking about buffalo wings for two days now. They were so hot I was sweating but I was so happy! I got a shower and we all hung out for the rest of the night. Tomorrow 12 pack and I will hike out of the hotel right back to where we got picked up off the highway. We will then hitch back into Rawlins and stay with Hummingbird and Jenga while they take another zero day.

Happy Trails!

-Early Bird

Day 49: A and M Reservoir

Miles Hiked: 24.4

Total Milage: 750

Location: SOBO mile 1335.6

Today I woke up feeling slightly recovered from the long day yesterday. I think stretching and taking ibuprofen last night helped a lot. 12 pack and I started the day around 6:30am. First we descended off the high area we were camping in last night. The longer we hiked the sandier the ground became. Hiking in sand is very annoying and makes me more likely to get blisters which is is exactly what happened today.

We took breaks about every five miles because both of our feet were hurting so bad. Our water sources for the day were the creek we slept by to start off with, then a spring about 10 miles into the day, and lastly A&M reservoir. Between those locations was a bunch of very flat road walking however some of the roads were sand. The sand really irritates the skin on my feet and gives me blisters. When we got to A&M reservoir at mile 20 around 3pm I was pretty tired. There were a couple of families out camping and fishing. 12 pack and I met two other flip floppers from this year named Murphy and Woosh. They are hiking
northbound and doing Colorado last.

After the reservoir we hiked another 4 miles and found a place to set up camp. I ended up cowboy camping because there wasn’t anywhere I could squeeze my tent between the sage brush bushes. I had to try and conserve my phone battery all day so I couldn’t listen to any music. I don’t listen to music a lot but not having the option to is really frustrating. Anyways, today was completely exhausting but it ended with a great sunset!

Happy Trails!

-Early Bird

Day 48: Wildlife Galore

Miles Hiked: 26.5

Total Milage: 725.6

Location: SOBO mile 311.2

So last night I realized that I forgot to charge my power banks while I was in the last town. I now have to be careful about conserving battery until we get to town because I really need my phone for maps and I really want it for my camera. I don’t listen to music a whole lot while hiking but it will be very frustrating to not have the option to.

Today is Free Falls birthday so 12 pack and I gave him a call. We found out that he is going to be flying to Lander and start hiking southbound where we did. He will be about a week behind us.

Both 12 pack and I’s feet were killing us today so we took lots of breaks. Unfortunately there was no shade to take these breaks in but I didn’t mind because the wind was nice enough to cool us off. One of our breaks we took at a water cache maintained by a person named “Hawkeye” . The water cache included some tootsie rolls and a log book which was very nice! I don’t see log books as often on the CDT, but when I do I absolutely love reading through them and leaving my own little note in the book. The AT had the log books at every shelter on the trail. The log book at the cache also included a little information about the history of the area. We found out that we were traveling along a section of the Oregon/California trail and the Seminoe cut off. We learned about a man who rode a horse across the plain 49 times during the 1860s, 70s, and 80s to deliver the mail. We related a lot to a long quote from him about traveling thousands of miles before cars were invented.

After our break at the water cache we started climbing to one of the highpoints in the basin. I was able to get a little bit or service here and make a call to my boyfriend. I miss him as always! Near the highpoint I saw a couple of wild horses roaming around, my first ones ever! They ran away from us as soon as I saw them. I tried to get a picture but they are very small in the distance.

My feet were throbbing all day and it was really hard to go the last couple of miles. Right before camp I saw a very large weasel crawl into it’s den near a spring. I didn’t realize they lived out here but it explains all the large holes I have seen in the ground. When I finally got to camp I wanted to lay down and not move. Luckily I saved on of my most favorite meals for dinner because I was absolutely starving. Mountain House biscuits and gravy hit the spot! Thanks mom! I made sure to stretch and brush my teeth really well before falling asleep hoping I would wake up with a lot more energy.

Happy Trails!

-Early Bird