7/12 34 miles.
waking up and getting going by 5 is so great. You have the whole day to do 35 miles or more and you can take so many breaks along the way. As soon as we got going we began hearing thunder in the distance. It was pretty though, the enormous cloud group moving over us was lit up like orange sherbet and the thunder crackled over and over like popcorn. We were rained on for 20 minutes tops then the sun came out for the rest of the day. We spent the first half of the day in meandering forested soggy trail and finally got to an open spot where we dried out our things from the rainstorm the previous night. From here, Buffalo Pass, we started our long gradual climb to the top of the last big mountain in Colorado, Lost Ranger Peak. The whole rest of the day reminded me of places on the PCT, specifically in the Sierra. We followed a gradual, switchbacking trail that took us through fields of green with granite scatters throughout. We peaked down on alpine lakes and massive granite walls surrounding. The whole place looked like a more tan, rugged Sierra Nevada. Once at the top of the peak we took some selfies at the edge of the cliff that generated an unusually drafty wind that was ready to pick us up off the mountain. We did another 8ish miles and made it to a parking area at around 730. Slowly, we got our tents up and sat in a circle swatting Mosquitos, farting, listening to dumb songs, and at dusk we retreated to our cozy tents. Time to sleep, wake up, hike to Wyoming, and do it all again.
7/13 32 miles
this morning was spectacular. A trix yogurt sunrise over the sawtooth ridge in the Zirkel national wilderness. After that we found many excuses to take our time in the morning which put us a little behind the mileage we should have been doing. Bathrooms, a faucet, a nice lady from Tennessee, some stray dogs, a drunk man trying to tell us where to go. We continue on a forest road and it gets really hot. The trail goes up and down and up and down. That same drunk man catches up to us on an ATV and tells us about how tuna packets are the best source of protein. The day goes on and it was a bit boring winding through the hot forested areas, and we made it to the Wyoming border that had a small white sign notifying us that we were now in Wyoming. The trail got harder to follow, and we decided to camp a bit early because a storm was right above us. The gray clouds sprinkled for two minutes and then let up and cleared out. Just as we were all setting up, a guy named Brett pulled up in his car on the forest road we are camping next to. Twinkle and I both met him on the PCT. We all ate our dinners and conversed for a long while before retiring to our tents at 830. Kind of boring terrain today, but a nice rest in the end and an awesome coincidence.
7/21 it's been a week since I have written so here's the recap: the Huston park wilderness in southern Wyoming was just great. I've learned that anytime you hit a national wilderness area, the terrain gets prettier almost immediately. I could go back and section hike any wilderness area on this trail. That day went from green wilderness to rolling desert hills by the end of the day and we knew we were nearing the basin. We did 38 miles in to Rawlins the next day. It was flat the whole way along a road that passed two "scenic lakes" that looked so old and polluted that they were white. By then, Twinkle had hitched in to town because he got pretty sick so malarkey and I headed to Rawlins and got there 5 minutes before the post office closed and right as a sweeping storm rolled in. We made friends at the gas station and the people took us to the motel where twinkle already had a room. 2 pizzas and some survival shows later and we were asleep in the cheap motel. The next day we resupplied and saw some hikers we had met and hiked with previously. Then we were out. To the basin. The basin was great and not so great. The first 20 miles to where we camped out of Rawlins were ideal. It was nice weather followed by a sunset with burning clouds around us in every direction. The next day was a bit of a bummer, the wind was so relentless and we just kept walking and walking until it died down and we could pitch our tents. It then picked up again and rained on us here and there thru the night and morning. I figured since it had rained on us early In the morning we would get rainy conditions throughout the day, but it was quite the opposite. Day two in the basin was just what I wanted it to be. It was such a perfect temperature, mixed with a constant breeze, I never even broke a sweat. It was beautiful walking in that open desert that continues as far as you can see. Miles came and went and we did like 38 by the end of the day. The next day we headed towards our resupply in south pass city with a stop by Atlantic city, truly the smallest city I've ever been to, for a burger. It was a decent burger and the people were even more decent. 4.5 miles after that we were greeted by a very welcoming lady at the general store in south pass city that sent out our packages and let us spread out all over the picnic tables drying things out and reorganizing. We only went a few miles after that and camped in desert conditions for the last time before we would be in the Wind River Range. We awoke to a surprisingly cold morning and wandered thru what I like to call a transition section. Or an in between. Basically a section of trail that's in between two beautiful places, making the transition section a bit boring. By the end of the day we climbed a pass in the rain and just as we summitted the clouds cleared and we saw the winds for the first time. We were above the massive Little Sandy Lake and down to it we went. We decided to walk around the lake and meet the trail on the other side. Finally in high alpine terrain, clear blue lakes, towering granite pinnacles, trees with soft campsites. Home.