A Beginner Hikes the CDT July 23-31 Day 83-91

Day 83 July 23rd Even Easier

I had a ten-mile jaunt into the trailhead where supposedly there was enough traffic every day to get an easy hitch into Pinedale. It was a really pretty ten miles that were mostly downhill.

I arrived at the trailhead by 9:30, talked with a mountain biker who let me borrow his 1/16th Allen wrench so I could tighten up a loose trekking pole. I then hung out with a National Forest volunteer who ran the local campsites. She gave me a sticker and asked why there was so few hikers this year. I played with her dog until the first camper came through and offered me a ride.

He was a young kid just out of college, still trying to figure life out. He was very afraid of getting a flat tire, so we went 15 MPH on the five or so miles of gravel road. It was slow, but still better than walking.

I had him drop me off at the Jackolope lodge, which is a hotel that has two rooms set up as a hiker hostel. Very cool little spot that has a patio, grill, fire pit, hammocks, picnic tables and outdoor shower.

But there was drama

I was checking in on the phone near the office and a thru-hiker started walking towards me with a not happy look on his face. He asked, “Are you staying in there?”

I said not yet and he walked away. After I checked in, I went to find my bunk and heard that guy talking with an older hiker about shitting all over the bathroom and then wiping it all over his bed. I put my stuff up and looked in the bathroom and confirmed there was poop everywhere.

I left the room so they could figure it out or the manager would show up.

The manager showed and had the older hiker leave. Another hiker was sure he had been going through alcohol detox and that is what has caused the disoriented behavior. Definitely not normal behavior for CDT hikers.

Trail Magic

A big shout out to Chris, Chav and Kelsey who Venmo’d me money to do some on trail trail-magic. We had burgers, beers, chips and even a few veggies. It had been weeks since I ate with anyone else and it was a nice treat.

Thanks guys!!!

Don’t lose your phone, especially when you’re backpacking.

The trail after Pinedale was going very well. I went through a part called Knapsack Cole. It was gorgeous. Just as good as the cirque of towers. It was a really challenging section that had a lot of snow and lots of loose rock to slide down during a very steep descent.

Once I got out of that area there was a couple of river crossings in. The first one I went over is where I’m pretty sure my phone fell out of my hip pouch and into the river. I knew that I had a couple of hikers maybe three hours ahead of me and one hiker that was at least two hours behind me. And since the trail isn’t particularly well marked all the time, I knew it was important to catch up to hikers in front of me. So that they could help me navigate around the trail.

I busted my hump to catch them that night but I wasn’t able to and ended up camping next to a lake pretty late, around 8:00. I got up that morning without my alarm clock at about 5:30 and hit the trail pretty quickly in hopes that I would catch them soon after. Maybe 45 minutes later, I bumped into a hiker named Winter who I hung out with last weekend and was with the group of hikers we had trail magic with. She told me that lumberjill and Bilbo baggins were maybe ten minutes down the trail already. I said I was going to take off and try to catch them so I could explain my story and follow them for the next couple of days.

They were super gracious and I told them what happened and they said that following them for the next couple of days wouldn’t be a big deal and that they were happy to help. It’s a pretty small trail when you think about it as they’re both from White Bear Lake, Minnesota, which is about five minutes from where I grew up in North Saint Paul.

As if you’ve read this blog consistently, you know that I’ve spent most of my time I get alone, so it did take a little bit for me to get comfortable hiking in a group. But I didn’t have any choice and it really wasn’t a big deal. The pace was a bit slower than mine but by the time we got to the road to Dubois, I was right where I thought it would be.

We got to hitch into Dubois, which is pronounced “do boys,” and I ended up spending the next four and a half days hanging out here waiting for my phone to arrive and then to get back on the trail. It was less than optimal to say the least. If you didn’t know, most thru-hikers, or pretty much every hiker I know, uses their phone as their map and on the CDT a map is critical.

Dubois was a nice enough town with some good food options. I kept all of comfortable spots to rest up. I spent two nights at the church which was free and two nights at the Black Bear inn, which wasn’t free, but they gave me a very good deal and the room was comfortable. The owner’s son is also on the CDT, so she was very sympathetic. I’m absolutely ready to get back on the trail and it probably gained a couple of pounds and just the last couple of days.

Affiliate Disclosure

This website contains affiliate links, which means The Trek may receive a percentage of any product or service you purchase using the links in the articles or advertisements. The buyer pays the same price as they would otherwise, and your purchase helps to support The Trek's ongoing goal to serve you quality backpacking advice and information. Thanks for your support!

To learn more, please visit the About This Site page.

Comments 3

  • Brian Lam : Aug 2nd

    Good to read about the WBL kindness. What an Adventure

  • Leone Quigley : Aug 2nd

    That was scary to lose your phone. Glad all is going good now. Time is closing in. LYFE Mom

  • George in Albuquerque. : Aug 2nd

    Great post, Daddy Warbucks. Sorry about the phone; I missed seeing your tracks, following along (in imagination). Four days in Dubious sounds relaxing. Again, thanks for sharing your experience!!


What Do You Think?