There’s a sign in Rocky Mountain National Park with the saying “the mountains don’t care”. Yep they don’t. They are there to marvel at and for those, who dare, to climb. I am not a fan of climbing (hiking uphill), heck I didn’t even like biking uphill. So thank the sweet baby Jesus I am out of Colorado, but the mountains don’t care.
I was told I picked the wrong hobby to not like climbing. I don’t think so. At home I can hike over the mountain or around, hike the city or the desert. Going where I want/choose, at my speed. Out here I’m on the trail (when I’m not lost). Out here is not hobby hiking, it’s extreme hiking.
“Embrace the Brutality,” the unofficial motto of the CDT, isn’t just hype. On the CDT you face risks that are rare on the other long-distance trails and challenging climbs. Thru hiking ain’t for everyone. But ‘hobby hiking’ is!! Get on the trail, or street (Urban hiking); make your own route. Find your own way, even if it’s around the mountain. That is all……now go!
Left Pinedale feeling optimistic, and we got lucky, scored two hitches right away! A nice couple from Utah and then got picked up by Jeff. Jeff had a whole 3 truck caravan, ready for some serious camping. They had a canvas tent, chairs, a chainsaw and potato chips! Once, Jeff told us he spent a winter in the Wyoming back-country living in a tee-pee, that’s hardcore. He pointed out things of interest on the drive and asked if we had bear spray.
So yes I caved and got bear spray after numerous warnings. Since this trail has western theme, I hooked it to my side belt. I feel like a gunslinger!
We camped that evening at Green River campground, nobody there but us, but it had bear boxes and neither of us was to eager to start hanging our food.
Next day we happily crossed Green River, on a Bridge! There was a 2000′ climb shortly there after up to Gunsight Pass. The climb was super tough as we were attacked by mosquitos all the way! We were rewarded with snow on the north side of the mountain.
This is about where things took a turn for me. I couldn’t stay on my feet, slipping on the snow and mud, plus our first waist deep river crossing. Whenever we cross a stream/river I let Kelsey go first, duh, she’s a lifeguard. If the water is too deep or the current too strong for her I ain’t going. I often worry she’ll power across and I will be left there scared stiff. Fording rivers scares the crap outta me.
Later I miss judged a slippery rock crossing a creek and went down hard. Half my pack went in the water, managed to save my phone, but busted my knee on a rock. Camped early due to my knee and wet clothes. It was pretty comical us hanging our bear bags, that evening, (pretty much us pitching rocks at each other) it distracted me from my bloody knee.
If my last post sounded a bit dire. I was in mood for sure. I usually try to stay upbeat and keep my down moments for my personal journal. Honestly though everything isn’t always wildlife and butterflies out here.
The tough times are hard to share, who whips out a camera when things bad, not me. (Well you might have enjoyed seeing us crawl in the snow when we couldn’t walk!!)
Actually the stress was mostly from being off trail. The four day stretch to get from New Mexico to Wyoming was intense. Hitchhiking can be fun, unless you have a bus to catch. Taking the bus is never fun, especially when it overheats and you might miss you connection. Then our 12am bus was packed, so of course an hour from our stop a tire blows.
Finally we are back on trail and I am feeling much better. Wyoming is flat but beautiful. Leaving Rawlins we continued our jail tour! On our road walk out of town the wind blew my hat off and across the highway. As I ran for it a motorcyclist pulled over to see if I was ok and offered me a ride. Man I wanted to take it as a hitch on a motorcycle is on my to do list. But I passed, not going my way. Thanks for stopping!
Wyoming State Penitentiary Ticks!
There are A LOT of ticks in this section. So I am wearing long pants even in the heat of the day and in tick paranoid mode. Water is scarce, I think I need a class on operating solar powered spring, not a single one has worked.
But I’m hiking…..so life is good. Thanks everyone for the kind words, support and encouragement.