We awoke in the small former mining town of South Pass City. There are a small amount of residents who live here year round and many tourists visit to see the old mining town that is very nicely preserved. We ate breakfast at a picnic table and waited for the historical site to open. Chipmunk and I picked up our boxes from the little store. The three of us paid the fee to tour this historical town. It was a very educational and fun experience that I would recommend. Most hikers just pass through, but it was nice to learn about the history of the area and have a peek into the life of miners and their families. We finally left around 3 and really needed to put in the miles so it was nonstop hiking. Sage fields and easy terrain followed by road junctions on not often traveled roads. My shoulder is killing me and I had to take a few pack off breaks along the way. We came to the good water source and filled up. We had planned to camp here, but there were no spots just lots of fallen trees. We went a bit farther and found a site off another trail where the three of us set up. A nice “town day” with quite a few miles too.
Today was full of sage brush, cows, many gates and quick walking. We did our miles getting closer to the entrance of the Wind River Range. We took a lunch break as it rained a bit on us and we got cold. Luckily, we had an uphill climb to help warm up with a view of a lake from between the trees. It eventually hailed briefly on us at a section we could choose to take the Cirque of the Tours on stay on the CDT. We chose the trail never knowing what the weather would do. We met a SOBO couple and chatted for a bit before we pushed some more miles saying hello to the cows. We found a campsite late in the evening near cow patties and not too many dead trees. Just a full day of walking!
It was a morning stroll through cow land before we crossed a stream and came to a picnic table built into a tree for a morning snack break. We crossed into the Wind River Range today and the scenery changed from cow fields to huge mountains, lakes, and a lot more people. The past two days we only saw one other person hiking the CDT south and today we saw over forty people out for anything from a night to a week. We choose to stick to the official route and not the Cirque of the Tours due to a thunder storm that produced some hail, snow, and rain. We hope to return to this section and hike this trail in the future. Our route was just as beautiful and rewarding with epic views! We watched the last bit of the sunset from a fallen log near our campsite. Starting to fall in love with this section of Wyoming. Day 116
Today was beautiful! All I can say is if you ever have the chance or time to go hike in the Winds please do it! I’ll be back someday. Lakes galore, mountains all around, marmots and pikas chatting to me, and the biggest simple on my face all day. We hiked over 25 miles just taking small breaks. We camped before Lester Pass near two lakes watching the sun set. One of my favorite days on trail.
This is one of our longest sections and food carries of the trail. We decided to skip the town of Pinedale to make up some miles and get closer to Canada. The pack is feeling much lighter today. So this section is about 170 miles long. We did an early morning hike up Lester Pass as the sun was rising to my delight. This is certainly one of my favorite passes, but I feel like I say that every time. We dipped down past small lakes as the sun was shining down. We met Trooper, M80, and his service dog Willow at one of the rivers. We introduced ourselves then hiked on. Another stunning day of beauty and smiles. We caught up to them and sat down to join them. They had got a lot of wine from a horseback rider and wanted to share with us. So for almost two hours the four of us shared stories, laughter, and drank wine. It was a splendid time. On this trail, it is not often to meet new people so when you have the chance to connect you do it even if it means walking late into the night. We parted ways and hiked along to a huge open area before dropping down for miles. We had an early dinner near a stream before hiking into the darkness making up for our long break. We camped near the Green River a little ways off of the trail. Another lovely day in the Winds.
I thought this section couldn’t get any better, but I was wrong. We walked along the Green River and ran into two huge moose. They are the most beautiful creatures and we admired them for a while before hiking on and seeing another moose. This section is an easy day hike from a trailhead parking lot and well worth a visit. I’d love to canoe this river as well. We then began the climb up towards Gunsight Pass. We met lots of Sobos as well today which was fun to share stories and advice. Two of them were guys who hiked the PCT last year as well, but we never met. After we made it to the top of the pass, the weather turned to rain then hail the snow. So we hid under a tree and let it storm. I cooked a warm meal and we just relaxed together. After it stopped storming, we got back on trail as the sun came out. It was an easy stroll then we ran into seven more Sobos making small talk as well. The best part was seeing Tick Tock again who flipped after Chama. It was late in the day so we couldn’t chat too long. We pushed on into the darkness nearing the Lake of the Woods. We set up at an established site and hung our food before crawling in for the night after watching a sunset.
We got moving early and our packs are much lighter now since tomorrow we will be in town. Today is day 7 since leaving the last town. We came across huge bear prints a little too close to our campsite. We then entered a cow section for the next few miles. We were leaving behind the Wind River Range for good now. There is a fire closure in effect meaning we had to take an alternate. The trail was nice for a bit then turned into a wild bushwhack. There may have been a trail, but we couldn’t find it. At some points, the bushes were larger than I was. It was so annoying and took longer than we hoped before we joined an old road. We camped right off the side of the road in a spot barely big enough for our tent after searching for a site for over twenty minutes.
We had a few miles left on the alternate. The road continued uphill for a while as I introduced Paperweight to some of my favorite singers. It stormed for a bit before clearing up again. We really lucked out with this section and the weather. The path finally began to drop towArds the highway. We booked it moving over three miles an hour. We came to the road to hitch into Dubois. There was a note on the bridge we crossed that said there was trail magic hanging from the bridge. There were two Mountain Dews so we took one to share! Rare trail magic on the CDT! No one stopped for the longest time as one of the cars zipped by I put my hands together basically begging and a guy turned around. He works in the wildlife field and told us lots of interesting facts. He dropped us off at the grocery store. We booked a room at the cheap hotel, ate a meal, went to the PO, went to the store, and then returned to the hotel to shower and clean up. We switched out the three person tent to the two person for the rest of the hike saving us each over a pound in weight. By 1:00, we were relaxing in bed happy with all of our town chores done. We waited till later in the day to walk to the laundry mat then into downtown. The outdoor store offered us a discount. Then we headed to the Cowboy Grill for dinner enjoying the best chicken wings of my life and a yummy burger. It was a cold evening so we hurried back to the hotel room to relax for the rest of the day. We deserved it!