A Beginner Hikes the CDT Day 92-95 August 1-4
August 1st day 92 I missed This
First, I have to say that today is the first day I haven’t been in the Air Force or in Air Force ROTC since I was a senior in high school. I’m officially a Veteran. And I’m also unemployed. I’m not sure how this is supposed to make me feel, but it most makes me feel old.
This morning I lounged around a little bit but got up at fairly reasonable time to go get some breakfast at the closest diner. I was pleasantly surprised with the prompt service and even a slight smile from the waitress. Of course the coffee was Folgers or something like it, but the eggs, hash, brown and sausage were all good. My small town dining experiences haven’t been great but Dubois has been solid.
I had a couple more things to do to get my phone ready and after I took care of that I checked out of the hotel and walked across the street to start hitching a ride to trailhead. It took awhile. Me and two other guys; Bigfoot and Maverick, ended up being out there for about an hour before a guy who walks to the post office said he’d go back to his house and get his car and take us out to the trailhead.
Bigfoot is the guy who gave me the name Daddy Warbucks, though he didn’t recall. I guess that moment was more significant for me than for him.
The trail between here and Yellowstone is pretty mellow but still scenic enough. There’s some nice valleys some rivers, nothing crazy. But still decent enough trail. It did take me a while to get warmed up seeing as I am usually a morning person and that I’ve been off the trail for almost a week. I Plan on being at the eastern part of Yellowstone in 2 and 1/2 days.
It’s nice to be alone and not have to rely on somebody else for directions. The CDT is not a well-marked trail and I did have to check my phone number of times today even with only if 15 mi day. It also felt good to set up my tent having not done it for the last 4 nights.
August 2nd day 93, Cold and Wet
Today was the worst weather I’ve had on the trail. There was a whole bunch of rain. It’s been plenty hot, but today was one of those miserable days where it just sort of lingers around and drizzles all day. It was in the low 50s with constant rain. I also realized that without breaking national park rules, I’ll need to take a pretty short day tomorrow and then do a sort of long day the next day.
I knew that I was supposed to schedule campsites in Yellowstone before leaving Dubois, but with the phone fiasco and trying to get out of town in time, I called the reservation line and they told me to use the online service. I Figured I’d just skip it and do it when I got into the park. But I didn’t pay close enough attention and the nearest ranger station is 25 miles into the park. So right now the plan is to camp just outside the park and do a 25 mile day the next day. Shouldn’t be anything out of the ordinary.
Aside from the weather, today was fine. The climbs are pretty basic and the views are pretty nice. But I was really happy to get my tent set up earlier than normal and huddled under my sleeping bag. I ate my dinner in my tents which is a big no-no when it comes to preventing grizzly bears from eating you, but it was so cold it was worth the risk.
I’m not super excited about the light day tomorrow, but I guess it gives me a chance to do some reading and catch up on podcasts.
August 3rd day 94 Slow Moving Crappy Weather
It was going to be a short mileage day because I didn’t have a permit to camp in Yellowstone and getting to the border was only about 13 mi away. Today was mostly cold and rainy, though there was a small reprieve from about 10:00 a.m. to 1:00. We had maybe 15 minutes of sunshine but then the rain started to pick up again around 3:30 which was lucky enough for me when I was sitting at my tent.
This part of Wyoming is nice but nothing spectacular so far. I’m sure the national park will be breathtaking but also pull up tourists. Tomorrow I have a 26 mi day ahead of me to get into the road to hitch to Grant village. I’ve heard that it’s a hard hitch because tourist don’t stop so I’m hoping for a good karma. I’ll spend the night at Grant to eat the breakfast buffet and then head out towards Old faithful one way or another.
A Friend from the Air Force who lives in Bozeman has offered to come pick me up on Sunday and bring me out to Bozeman for a day of rest before I head up to Glacier. My trip will end in Glacier. I know that leaves the rest of Montana, but I need to get home and start grinding on some other stuff. 90ish days on the trail is about right for me.
This has been an incredible trip. While I wouldn’t call it life-changing, I will look back on this threeish months fondly for the rest of my life. Thru hiking is challenging, rewarding and fun. It’s also a grind, can be annoying and most of all for me it takes me away from my family. I wouldn’t trade the time for anything but I am ready to get home.
August 4th day 94 Even More Crappy Weather
It rained all night. I was doing pretty good Staying dry, but the condensation started to build up in my tent about 3:00. By then i was getting drips of water on my face. So instead of sitting there and taking it I decided to start moving. Earlier that night my buddy and Bozeman asked me if he wanted to pick me up a day early cuz the weather is so lousy. I jumped at the chance. The mileage would be the same but instead of staying at the campground in Yellowstone, I get to sleep in warm bed.
The early morning meant I got to have a chance to hike with my headlamp . It’s been a while since I hiked with my headlamp. But there wasn’t anything special that it was missing. I thought Thought with the early start I’d be able to skip some of the rain, but even at 4:00 in the morning there was still quite a bit of mist. By the Time the sun came up I made it already a few miles but hadn’t any coffee. The first part of my day was pretty basic. I wasn’t any climbs but there was quite a few river crossings because who wants dry feed anyways.
I made my way towards Hart lake in Yellowstone which improved the scenery. And soon after started to see some geysers and some of the rivers were hot springs. I had about 2 hours of rain reprieve but then started to come back. I made my 26 mi destination by 3:00. Which is fair enough time. I was lucky enough to grab a hitch to West Yellowstone and was able to meet my buddy there and he drove me the rest of the way to Bozeman.
Thanks as always for reading.
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