CDT Day 125 (WY – Rawlins to Steamboat)

Sobo Wars: The Phantom Water

  • CDT Miles: 1,600.9-1,589.3 (11.6) & 1,583.2-1,572.3 (10.9)
  • Straight Shot Alt.: 4.2 miles
  • Total Hiked: 2,034 (of approx. 2,800)
  • Elevation Range: 6,725-7,600

“I always like going South. Somehow it feels like going downhill.” – Treebeard (The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers film)

“Always remember… your focus determines your reality.” – Qui Gon Jinn (Star Wars: The Phantom Menace)

I woke up early thinking I’d take a shower and be ready in time for breakfast. Only problem was, I’d forgotten the code for the campground’s shower room. Back to the camper I went and perused on the phone til Dave H woke up and started coffee. Then, once reminded of the code… a quick shower and a last breakfast with ma and pa. As per usual, quality stuff!

We headed into town to find the spot where I’d started back in June, the start of my trekking with Snickers and Cheer going north. It was only a few minute drive away, still in town along the road adjacent to Bolten Park. Nothing spectacular really, just the same spot to connect my different sections. But, it’s funny how random spots along this giant trail can have such a big impact. This for example is a spot I’ll certainly remember.

See, here’s in June. So fresh and so clean starting off…

And here’s this morning. I had the team sending me off and was ready to rock. Still fresh and clean, but maybe a little haggard (me, not the team as a whole of course) as well…

How to put into words what it means that I have the support of these two on my journeys? I have some amazing people in my life and as I’ve mentioned before in these posts, it’s the showing up that makes the difference. Now, maybe they just wanted to see Glacier National Park, but traveling across the country, carting me and my friends around, and then going above and beyond to help me transition to a whole other section of trail a good 750 miles away. Well folks, that’s just the Dave H and Sheryl way. An inspiration to me.

As I got to walking they maneuvered around the block in the truck and caught me trekking along. A last wave, and I was off. Mom and dad would head back to the camper and make their plans. Up to this point, I don’t think they even knew what they’d do next. Stay a bit longer and see some stuff or just make their way home. Maybe a bit of both, sight seeing in the direction of home? They’re a bit wild like that. Never want to make plans for too far ahead 😉

I had about 2 miles of asphalt road walk before turning off Hwy 71/Sage Creek Road. Saying goodbye to Rawlins, Wyoming..

Passing below Interstate 80. The very same road that will take my parents back east probably all the way to Chicago (whenever they decided to go), unless dad gets sneaky and tries to find some more remote/off the beaten path route…

So starting out going southbound now, my first goal is to complete the section of trail that goes through the Wyoming Basin or the Great Basin or the Red Desert. These are all names I’ve heard this place called and I expect it to be the same type of stuff that I started hiking with Cheer and Snickers through back in June, before we reached the Wind River Range.

Driving around yesterday, dad said something along the lines of, “It’s different… all the same, but different.” And that’s a pretty good observation I’d say. Seems like there’s something that the whole area has… openness, lack of trees, a unique quality of rolling hills with an occasional steeper rocky section. But within that, there’s variation. The pictures don’t always show it and of course, coming from Glacier has me spoiled, so not all that many pics today.

Started out in what seemed like a construction zone of sorts or formerly one anyways.

Back where the prickly pears grow for a bit…

Those may look like lakes, but we’re all dried up.

Right around 11am, I made it to the first water cache we’d stashed yesterday. It was there just like I left it. Unfortunately, after filling up, when putting my pack back on and adjusting the strap across my chest, the buckle broke. At first I tried just without, but it seems pretty important actually, at least with so much weight in my pack. So… I took a strap I keep on the back that I normally use to hold my sleeping pad in place, and made a makeshift chest strap. Worked very nicely for the time being. My sleeping pad can get by with just the one strap for now too. You’ll also notice, I packed out my empty water jug…

Moving onward, closer up to the dried up lake…

I ended up taking a short cut that I noticed on my app. I think it took off 2 miles. Basically I stayed on the two track I’d been hiking instead of jogging to the left, then turning right to go south again, and then back right to reconnect. Seemed odd until I got to the other side and it was posted… No trespassing! Woops-a-daisy. It’s hard to tell out here what’s public and what’s private land.

Had lunch in a ditch. There’s not much shade out here at all during the middle of the day, but I tried to hide under a little from the ditch.

Around 4pm I made it to the second water cache, which I staged where I thought I might camp. I guess this road walk stuff makes for quick hiking, and so after taking a break sand filling up my bottles, I just kept cruising. Had some good tunes that brought about a renewed spirit. Got me right up to Bridger Pass where mom and dad and I turned around at yesterday. Felt another pic was in order…

A little better lighting after this point and the wildlife started coming out too…

At 6pm on the dot, I reached this sign…

Looked like it was another 5 miles til the easement ended, so I made the call to stop a little early tonight. I’d crushed some miles already and my feet were sore, so probably a good idea regardless. Took me a minute to find a flat spot. Just as I was prepping to hike back up the last hill I’d come down, I spotted something that’d work. Unpacked and got things organized for dinner and then a cowboy camp.

Had two big trucks speed by me during dinner, but otherwise it was quite calm and nice looking out as the valley became fully shadow. I also had a pronghorn snort at me for about 20 minutes. Just didn’t like me I guess. That’s him silhouetted up on the hill staring me down….

Tried to get a video of the snorts, but they’re quiet. You’d have to listen very closely…

Album of the Day

“Yonder Mountain String Band” – Yonder Mountain String Band (2006)

Audiobook of the Day

Finished “Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children” by Ransom Riggs

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