CDT Day 57 (WY – Lander to Pinedale)

Beautiful Things En Route to Pinedale

  • CDT Miles: 1,796.1-1,798.6 (2.5)
  • Pole Creek Trail: 5.4 miles
  • Total Hiked: 928 miles
  • Elevation Range: 9,350-10,885

Good morning from the trail!

To kick things off, we had to climb out of the bowl we’d camped in. Last night when coming down, none of us were quite sure how the trail would get us out again. Pretty much a straight shot going right up the other side…

Unexpectedly, we ended up getting our sketchiest snow patch yet, which really wasn’t bad at all. It had a nice ice crust for a change as opposed to the soft post-holey type stuff we’ve seen prior. We were overly safe about it and got out our gear. Then, once on the flat stuff had fun with it and took some pics.

It was so calm this morning. No wind at all. Still.

Our goal today was to hike 2.5 miles further up the CDT and then take the Pole Creek Trail out to the resupply town of Pinedale, Wyoming. The side trail is about 11 miles (I only included the miles that will actually be part of my piecing together the CDT in my recording above). The short CDT trek was spectacular, maybe my favorite part of the winds thus far even, and the side trail turned out to be pretty neat too.

All that was CDT stuff. Exciting that we’ll be coming back and starting in this amazing area for the next stretch. The Pole Creek Trail had a surprising amount of up and down and was quite flooded by meltwater. We had our toughest water crossing yet across Pole Creek. It was wide and moving fast and the rocks were especially slippery it seemed. Just as we neared the other side the water level reached my mid thigh. More intensity than we prefer, but we made it and continued on our way towards the Elkhart Park Trailhead.

Throughout this section Cheer had been in contact with a friend that happened to be in the area. Brent has done a good chunk of the CDT and he and his brother wanted to help give us a ride into town. Arranging to meet at 2:00pm, we’d been shooting to get there, but weren’t sure if we’d make it right on time. Thus, at one point Cheer took off ahead to cruise on down. There she goes if you can spot her…

Snickers and I walked together and kept in site since our app no longer works when off the CDT like this. We cruised pretty quickly ourselves and at one point it was like something clicked and all of a sudden there were numerous day hikers and weekend backpackers. At one spot, Photographer’s Point, there were about fifteen people all gathered. It was an amazing view and there also happened to be a small black bear chilling nearby…

We made it to the trailhead and found Cheer and our wonderful trail angels sitting in the shade chatting it up. Snickers and I joined in for a bit and then the three of us clambered into the back seat of their car with our packs on our laps in true hiker style.

The see guys were so great. They were in the area having grown up around here and adventuring a bit before moving on to a family reunion. They took us into town and even treated us to ice cream. Wow, wow, wow. Thanks y’all!

Sadly the guys had to get scooting, so it was just a quick visit. Afterwards, we made arrangements to stay at the Jackalope Motor Lodge. This place was great and recently created a hostel style bunk area that fits nicely for hikers needs. We also found Wingnut there, a hiker we’d met on the Cirque of the Towers alternate, so that was neat.

Laundry, shower, hanging and chatting, Chinese for dinner, more hanging and chatting, sleeping on an actual mattress! Happy to be in town 🙂

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