CDT Day 52 (WY – Lander to Pinedale)

Approach to the Winds

  • CDT Miles: 1,722.3-1,735.7 (13.4)
  • Total Hiked: 858.6 miles
  • Elevation Range: 8,055-9,285

There were just a few items to take care of before getting back on trail. Mainly, we needed to ship a box ahead to the next post office. It had Cheers damaged tent and a few items we felt we didn’t need this stretch. We had hoped Cheer’s replacement tent poles would be sent in time, but Big Agnes said they’d send to our next stop.

I spent the morning uploading posts and finalizing my packing until 8:30am when the post office opened. While Snickers and Cheer finished up, I went over to the post office and got it sent out. Then, the three of us met out by the road and found our place to try and hitch a ride, hoping it would be easier then the way in.

It was around 9:00am when we got set up and hitching and at 9:25 my man Dave pulled over. We’d separated the team and so I asked if he’d be willing to take all three of us. He said he had the room, so after I put my pack in the trunk and hopped in, we scooted down the road and got the others. Pretty awesome! It was a nice ride this time chatting about Wyoming, the town of Lander, Utah, the varying legalities of marijuana, Thailand, home projects, bears, and fishing of course.

Dave dropped us off right at the trail right around 10:00am, which just so happened to be access to his property too. Said he bordered the National Forest land. We parted ways and began getting ready and back into hiking mode. While doing so, a guy pulled up in a truck and told us he was part of a group called Backcountry Horse Association or something like that. He said they have a group of folks planning to do two days of trail clearing starting tomorrow. So we just missed it!

I told Snickers and Cheer to get started without me since I still had service and wanted to finish a few last tasks. They took off around 10:30am and I was maybe 20 minutes after. It was actually pretty nice walking solo to start this stretch. Getting out of town is always stressful, making sure everything got taken care of, and so this was a good way to get back in the right state of mind. I was excited and loving the idea of moving from the basin into some mountains.

I finally spotted the team around 12:30pm just after I took this photo of some dark skies ahead.

We joined up just as the trail turned into actual single track.

It wasn’t long to a creek and once there we filtered some water and had some lunch. Here’s my pb and honey roll-up with local honey for the win.

The dark cloud moved closer though and so it was pack up early time. Got rain stuff on just before a downpour/hail event. We each split to hide under some trees. The rain lasted about 5 minutes and seemed to pass us by. Afterwards I tried to be artsy and get some water droplet flowers.

The CDT was throwing some steep grades our way as we climbed upward.

But we also got some nice clear watered streams too.

And meadows.

We made it to the high point for the day and from there it was mostly downhill to the East Sweetwater River. There were a few uphill blips and throughout there were numerous downed trees in our way. We’d been expecting this and just stayed the course trying to be patient with ourselves and the conditions. It wasn’t fast moving today.

Nearing the river I saw some animal that I think was a porcupine. Didn’t get a good look though. We filtered water there and had our first crossing to deal with. Cheer and I walked on logs across staying dry whereas Snickers just went through. No big deal.

I got us off trail for a bit after this and we made our way to some Forest Roads to get back. In route though, we decided we’d take a break and make dinner. We’re making some adjustments to our normal schedule and routine being in bear country now, and cooking away from our camp is one of them.

Of course it started raining on us. A little unpleasant, but what came next made up for it. As we were hanging out candy chowing down, a bull elk came running out of the forest into the field. Then, about a minute later a mama moose and her little one came out the same spot and we’re running too. Not sure what spooked them our way, but pretty cool to witness.

Dinner was about 6-6:25pm or so and we hiked for another half hour before getting back on the actual trail and then making camp there.

Another thing on our new safety techniques was to hang up our food and any smelly stuff from a tree. I was rusty in this area and my food bags seemed too low, but this was more of a practice round today we felt seeing as we’re just getting into the bear zone.

Successful day one back on trail and pumped for what’s to come!

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