Day 104: Entering the horse highway

Miles Hiked: 21.1

Total Milage: 1715.7

Today my family dropped 12 pack and I off on the trail around 7am. It was a cold morning. We started the hike by going uphill through a bunch of wet grass. My feet were immediately soaked and my pack get so heavy so I was moving slow. We took a short break once we reached a gravel road about two miles in. It feels like the section is going to feel like a long one! Not much farther down the gravel road, we passed a lodge called “Brooks Lake Lodge” they had lots of horses. A dog randomly started following us and after it didn’t go away after a mile 12 pack and I started to get really irritated by it. We didn’t want to be responsible for a dog following us all day long. I said that it was definitely annoying but at the end of the day it’s not my problem if someone didn’t keep a good enough eye on their dog. I wasn’t willing to turn around because of someone else’s mistake. I figured after five miles the dog would leave us for sure. 12 pack, being a nicer person than I am ended up turning around and walking the dog back to the lodge while I sat down and watched our packs. Apparently the lodge wasn’t very happy about him returning their dog at all. The people he talked to did not hesitate to pull a gun out on him while he was approaching with the dog. We heard from other hikers that the lodge was extremely unfriendly to hikers so we will be passing the word on down the trail. I’m not sure why they would even offer services to hikers if they seem so offended by hikers even stepping on the property.

Today we walked on a dusty trail with lots of horse hoof prints and poop everywhere. It kind of annoys me that people with horses are allowed to leave the poop literally everywhere along the trail so I spend all day trying to avoid stepping in it. We eventually did see two large groups of horses and riders. About 10 horses in each group. They were very nice and it made me wish I was riding a horse for just a little bit. Around lunch time we met another Northbound CDT hiker named “Metric Ton” he was a 57 year old man who is doing half the trail this year. He got his name by starting the PCT with a 100 pound pack. Now his pack is about 50-70 pounds which is still heavy! I did the math and realized that if a 200lb person is carrying a 50lb pack it’s 1/4 of their body weight. I currently weight 120lbs and my pack hovers around 30lbs if not more depending on how much food and water I have. So I guess even though 50lbs sounds insane, if you are a very tall and large man it’s not much different than a smaller person carrying 30lbs. We talked to him for quite a while and he told us about all the other hikers he met recently. There aren’t many of us out here this far north.

12 pack and I continued hiking and taking lots and lots of breaks. The terrain was super easy and we realized that we would get to camp so fast if we didn’t take breaks. For dinner I made some ramen noodles. We got to camp at a lot cabin around 7pm. The cabin was locked so we had to camp outside of it but it was still a very nice campsite that included a bear box. A man named Felix from Germany on his first backpacking trip ended up showing up to camp about an hour after us. It was nice to chat with someone new for once! He is hiking the whole state of Wyoming this year. I ended up falling asleep very quickly after we talked to him. Metric Ton showed up very late in the evening after I was already asleep. It was great to camp with two other people it made me feel a lot more comfortable about the signs of bear activity we saw within a mile of our camp. Oh yea! I forgot to mention that I also saw THREE moose at once right before camp.

Happy Trails!

-Early Bird

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