Day 107: Yellowstone National Park Day 2: Grant Village

Miles Hiked: 20.1

Total Milage: 1778.5

Today I woke up a little earlier than the past few days. It was a cold morning. I packed up my things and hiked out of camp in my hoodie dress and my puffy jacket with my hands in my pockets because they were so freezing. I may pick up a pair of gloves next time I see some. The mornings have been bizarrely cold compared to how blazing hot it gets all day and how hot it stays late in to the evening. The trail continued through the conifer tunnel until it opened up to the shores of Heart Lake which we walked around until we reached a ranger station where we stopped and chatted with a very nice volunteer ranger. He told us a couple fun facts about the park back in the 80s when he used to work as a ranger for pay. He also let us know that it was legal to soak in the hot creeks that the thermal pools feed in to but not the pools themselves.

1.5 miles after leaving the ranger station, we stopped to soak in “Witch Creek” which was steaming in the cool morning air. The temperature was perfect and I was able to submerge my whole body in the hot water. It was so nice and relaxing. I also soaked my shirt and tried to clean it off a little bit. I knew the day was going to get very hot again. After the nice soak we had a small climb which felt so hot in the sun. I was glad that my shirt was soaking wet. I passed by some small thermal pools that were bubbling, steaming, and hissing. They were pretty cool. At the top of the climb I ran into 12 pack who was sitting down on a phone call. I was so excited because we haven’t had service the past three days and I really wanted to talk to Luke and my mom. There was hardly any service at all but I had just enough to make a phone call surprisingly. It was so nice to talk to someone at home.

After my phone call I hiked 4 more miles to the Heart Lake trailhead. By the time I got there my shirt was totally dry. 12 pack and I decided it as worth a shot to try and hitch in and out of the nearest National Park general store on our two hour break. It was successful! A nice couple on vacation picked us up and drove us 6 miles straight there. We got cold drinks that I had been craving all day long. I had a huckleberry lemonade and some butter finger ice cream bites. I also had a beer and found out my alcohol tolerance is at an all time low. It seems like every time I drink alcohol on the trail I just have a worse and worse reaction to it. One beer had me pretty buzzed before I had even finished it and I think I ended up getting a headache later from it. Even though I drank so much water today I think my body weight dropping and the fact that I’m so incredibly fatigued all the time makes the alcohol hit hard. We hung out in front of the store on some nice rocking chairs and got to talk to a guy biking the trans American bike route. It was fun to get to know another long distance traveler. We got a hitch back to the trail from a park ranger. I originally thought he was going to tell us that hitch hiking in the park was illegal but he automatically offered us a ride. It was so nice and easy hitching today!

Back on trail we only had 8 more miles to camp. We took a break in some nice shady trees and a second one for dinner. It was a conifer tunnel all the way to camp. We did get to walk by Shoshone lake and cross the Lewis channel which was about knee deep. I didn’t end up cooking dinner tonight because I was still full from food at Grant Village and cooking sounded like a lot of work. We got to camp around 7:30pm. Around 8:30pm two other Northbound hikers showed up and it was such a surprise. Their names were cutthroat and Don Quixote but we didn’t get to talk to them too much because everyone fell asleep by 9pm and they were setting up camp.

Happy Trails!

-Early Bird

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