Lander, WY to Steamboat Springs, CO – The Adventures of Lil Red

Day 64

We got a 2 part hitch out of town with Walk It Off. One vehicle got us about 1/3 of the way back to the trail, but they were turning a different direction, so we got out and got another hitch the rest of the way. We walked right through South Pass City, an old mining town from the 1800’s. We checked out the old buildings as we made our way down the trail.

It’s pretty flat now that we’re in the Great Basin area. There’s lots of sage, some cows, water sources are poor, and exposed trail. I love it.

Day 65

Nothing obstructed the sunrise this morning. Temps were very enjoyable. We saw tons of prong horn hopping away in the distance. Water sources were ok today. Scoot and hammer joined us for lunch and we walked the rest of the day with them. The trail was mostly flat 2 track roads which makes for easy hiking and easy talking while hiking. A thunderous rain storm rolled in towards the late afternoon. With nowhere to take shelter, we kept walking. It stopped around the same time we got to a water cache.

We ate dinner at the cache with Scoot, Hammer, Garbanzo and True Grits. The cows even came over and watched us eat inside our fenced in hiker area. The setting sun finally came out and gave us a beautiful sunset as a parting gift.

We did 29 miles today which I believe is our biggest day yet on this trail. With the flat terrain it wasn’t too difficult, although my hip flexors, knees, shins, and ankles are pretty sore from the consistent flat terrain. There’s always pros and cons to everything!

Day 66

Trail wasn’t as flat today, but still easy terrain. We plan our day water source to water source. The first and longest carry is 16 miles. It’s cloudy today which gives us a break from the direct sun. The aroma of sage was overwhelming in the best way, especially when the wind swept through it just right. Beautiful sunset. Camped next to a spring shared by cows and humans. The cows were slurping, smacking, and coughing up the water all night long. We laughed about it for quite a while.

Day 67

Hiked with scoot and hammer again until we ran into grits and garbanzo at the water cache. Cloudy and windy and sunny today. I started experiencing shin splints. We walked on more dirt roads and some paved roads today. After the paved road walk, the trail was lost. We just did the best we could to head in the general direction of trail while trying to dodge cacti and sage brush. We got to the spring after dark and camped with scoot, hammer and one track.

Day 68

The trail goes right through the town of Rawlins! I love when trail does that. We stayed at a sketchy motel, got lots of fall/pumpkin flavored food at Walmart, bought some cowboy hats, and met hiker friends for diner at a yummy Thai restaurant!

The Great Basin was tough, but I actually kind of loved it! I love how you can see forever into the horizon. It can feel a bit hallucinatory when the view and surroundings seem to never change and you start to question whether you’re actually just walking in circles or not. Also, we came across at least 2 dead cows and 1 dead pronghorn steps away from trail, reminding us it can be a brutal place out here. I however didn’t need any reminding, as my bleeding chapped lips were a constant refresher on the matter.

Day 69

Soooo today we got a wild hair and decided to buy a wagon for our 30 mile road walk and long water carry. We pitched in with Scoot, Hammer, Garbanzo, and True Grits to buy a little red wagon to haul 7 gallons of water and 24 PBR… strictly for calorie purposes 😉

KD staying hydrated

We took shifts pulling the wagon and actually it was easier then carrying a backpack! The road wasn’t busy which made for a pretty chill road walk. We made it to a BLM campground just as the sun was setting.

Hammer clocked in for his shift
My turn to pull the wagon

Day 70

It was so cold this morning until the sun cleared the horizon. We greased up lil red’s wheels with olive oil and hit the road. We came across several water sources of murky green or poopy brown water and were thankful for our water wagon. We also came across a water cache that must’ve been freshly restocked because the water was ice cold. We only needed a little bit to top us off.

Wide open road walk

At lunch we stopped at another BLM campground and gave our wagon, Winona Rider, to a RV camper. With only 7 miles left of the road walk, her work here was done. Once back on trail, I was thankful to be amongst trees again and to come across a good clear cold water source! We camped under the trees tonight 🙂

Day 71

We hiked through a field that had sheep grazing on it and a sheep dog hard at work. At one point he laid on my feet and I thought, “Well I live here now so…”

Friendly sheep dog

At the pass, we got a ride into Encampment and camped at an RV park in town.

Day 73

We crossed into Colorado today! And we got trail magic today!

License plates mark the border line
Thanks for the beer, Kegger!

Day 74

We got to cowboy camp under the super moon last night! We woke up to no condensation on our gear which is one of the many joys in a hiker’s life. It’s starting to feel a little colder in the mornings, but under the quilt feels very pleasant at night. It always warms up as soon as the sun comes out.

Are you ready to get Zirked?
over joyed when we finally came across trail berries

We saw probably 30 hunters backpacking into the woods. Tomorrow is opening day of hunting season and they are setting up camp. We had a long climb this morning. It was spectacular views at the top with mountains in the distance that looked like they went on forever.

Headed into a rain storm

We experienced a quick hail/thunderstorm but the skies were immediately sunny and blue after that blew through…. Until the evening when another big burst of hail, rain, thunder and lightning was released from the sky. Luckily, we had just gotten to a trail head with a privy so we took cover under the privy porch and stayed dry while we cooked dinner. It cleared up after dinner and we ended up camping at a campground by the trailhead.

Dinner with a restroom view

Day 75

We got to Steamboat Springs, CO today and had to completely switch mind sets. We found a trail angel in town that let us come over and conduct our online interviews for a university program we are both pursuing. We looked very professional (from the waist up) and did the best we could with hiker brain. 🤞🏻

Shout out to Paula and John!

We also enjoyed a free concert in town featuring a double rainbow

Free concert at Steamboat Springs

Day 77

We planned on getting back on trail today but the cold rain was an overwhelming deterrent. We decided the trail can wait. Instead we enjoyed a special deal at the Hot Springs where CDT hikers get in free!

A little rain doesn’t stop us from enjoying the hot springs

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Comments 2

  • Rhonda Anderson : Sep 13th

    Beautiful pictures! You look like you are having a great time. Clean up pretty good too : ) Love you both, so proud of you both! Be safe and come home to new, great adventures!

  • Tracy Teater : Sep 13th

    Enjoying your adventures from your Mom’s FB posts! What an incredible accomplishment! Enjoy all the things!


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