We finished the Great Divide Basin!! Five days of hiking through flat, hot, and repetitive landscape. We made fast miles, hiking an average of 26 miles a day. Others hiked between 35-40 miles a day. Young whippersnappers.
Many of the water supplies were poopy cow ponds (I may never get the smell of cow poop out of my nose), others were cold springs. We timed our campsites with small oases—a river or large pond. And know what? We had a lot of fun and enjoyed ourselves. Heat be damned. One morning we woke up at 2:30 am to beat the heat. Sunrise is the best time of day, for sure.
We finished this section more exhausted than usual due to the high miles and long days. Landed in one of our favorite trail towns, Lander, Wyoming. And as promised, I’ll describe our most excellent nearo, followed by a zero day.
NEARO FOLLOWED BY A ZERO IN LANDER!
Monday, July 19.
2:30 am. Wake up, excited to be hiking into Lander! Feeling tired due to lack of sleep, heat, and long miles.
9:30. Nice surprise, we hike into South Pass City, a restored ghost town. Since the CDT goes right through the town, it’s free for CDT hikers. Plus they sell ice cream and root beer! We call for a shuttle to pick us up and enjoy being tourists.
Noon. Have our shuttle driver and trail angel, Pulp Fiction, drop us off at The Lander Bake Shop where we drink lots of good coffee and eat baked goods. Yum.
Marvel at how my bowels seem to know when we’re in town.
1:30. Walk to NOLS to buy dehydrated food. Hang out with fellow thruhiker, Costanza, while doing laundry.
3:00. Go to grocery store to buy some late lunch: fried chicken, potato salad, Hawaiian rolls, and mango smoothie.
4:00. Go to the Aquatic Center to shower.
5:00. Set up our tent in the city park. Live music. Pulp Fiction and Costanza supply dinner for the hungry hiker masses. Spend the evening talking and eating with others.
8:00. Go to tent and sleep like babies.
Tuesday, July 20.
6 am. Sleep late, until 6 am!! Go eat breakfast at the Ox Bow. Marvel at the low cost of dining in Wyoming compared with Colorado.
8:00 Go to nearby coffee shop. Drink lots of good coffee. Stare at phones, make lists of things to do. Talk about an alternate route to avoid Idaho/Montana forest fires.
9:50 Go back to Lander Bake Shop to buy scones for tomorrow’s breakfast.
10:00 Go to the public library!! Charge batteries (literal and metaphorical), write letters and blog entry.
1:30 Go back to Lander Bake Shop a third time to buy a lemon bar and a chocolate/peanut butter bar. Eat these for lunch, along with salad-in-a-bag purchased yesterday.
2:00 Head to grocery store to buy resupply. I love to grocery shop!! I spend hours creating resupply lists, looking for that right combination of low weight, high calorie, and good tasting food.
3:00 Arrive back at tent, now soaked by the park sprinklers. Assess damage.
5:00 Eat dinner at the Chinese restaurant. Lots of veggies.
6:30 Repackage food and pack our backpacks. Read a book or watch something downloaded on my phone.
8:00 Set our alarm for early morning and sleep... onward through the Wind River Range!!