BLM Parking Area(1619.8) to Rawlins, WY(1629.1) 9.3 Miles
Total Miles: 814.7
Elevation: 6,700 feet
As soon as the gun enthusiasts left last night I was able to finish writing my blog and go to sleep. The moon was so bright I felt like there was a spotlight on me. It was the first time in forever that I was able to cowboy camp(sleep without setting up my tent). I really enjoy cowboy camping, but anytime it is cold or rain is threatening I setup my tent. I slept fitfully again due to the wind and moon. At least the wind helped with the mosquitoes. I like waking up and getting started really early on town days. I was up by 4:30 and hiking by 5:15.
Dawn by the salt water lake
We started the morning off with a ridiculously steep, but short climb. That is how I like starting my day. It really gets the blood pumping. The hike into town was easy and uneventful. We made it into the city of Rawlins, Wyoming around 8:15. This is one of the larger towns we have gone through. I believe the population is around 10,000 people. The trail went right through town, which is always a bonus. We found a really nice EconoLodge about 1.5 miles off of the trail. This 1-star hotel has a restaurant, bar, laundry, and a barber shop on site. It is also close to the grocery store and a diner.
Sunrise from the top of our short climb
We were able to check into the motel as soon as we arrived. Our room wasn’t actually clean yet, but we were able to leave our packs while we went for breakfast. The diner we chose to eat at was just ok. This was my first mediocre breakfast of the trail. The lack of quality was made up by the portion size. I had a breakfast skillet, coffee, and a few glasses of non-salty water.
Ok at best
We stopped to pick up a few beers on the way back to the motel. Turtle likes to drink a beer while he showers and I have adopted the practice. Once we had showered, I started our laundry. Laundry on site is always a nice feature. I only hike with one set of clothes and it can be awkward to sit around in a laundromat wearing rain gear. Our clothing was really muddy and filthy after this stretch so we did two wash cycles. While the laundry was going I caught up on my social media and made plans for my food for the next leg. We have 121 miles to hike before heading back to Colorado. I had to change my rental car reservation since we are running one day behind schedule. The eleven miles of additional trail we had to hike set us a little behind. Once those chores were accomplished we decided to walk to the other side of town for an all you can eat(AYCE) thai food buffet. Turtle also needed to pick up his new backpack from the post office. It was 3.2 miles round trip. I never enjoy walking non-trail miles. We tried to get and Uber or bus, but there wasn’t one.
Were we camped last night
The AYCE buffet was just alright. Some of the items were really good, but I thought most of it was average. Once again the quantity of food made up for the quality. I have pretty high expectations for my thai food. Tampa has a few out of this world thai restaurants. Cortez, CO has one of the best thai restaurants in America and I try to eat there once or twice per season. We ate until we were stuffed and then ate some more. I waddled over to the post office with Turtle. His new backpack had arrived. It is a little different from his old pack, so I hope it works out for him. I’m just glad it has a working hip belt. Carrying 20-40 pounds on your shoulders can’t be a fun experience.
After lunch I called my parents to check in. Apparently my delayed posting of the blog has some people concerned. I’m lucky to have had such good cell phone service along this trail to post my blog every day or two. I don’t expect that to continue for long. If you are ever worried about my lack of posts you can check my progress on the home page of the blog. There is a tab called “Where is Yoda”. My InReach personal locator tracks me as I hike. I usually set it up to send out a signal every 30 minutes. I also check in at camp every night. All of this data is transferred to a map on this tab. Feel free to check it out.
After talking to my parents I went to the grocery store to resupply. I think I have just enough food to make it through this section. I am carrying an extra dinner and a few extra bars just in case we get slowed down for some reason, but I don’t think that will be an issue in this section. The great divide basin is really flat and we will be hiking mainly on dirt roads. There is no snow. No trees blown down to slow us up. Plus this area doesn’t get a whole lot of rain. We should be able to just cruise before heading back to Colorado. I’m really trying out new foods. I’m pretty sick and tired of the usual hiker fare. I’m still eating the staples of ramen, granola bars, snickers, and m&m’s, but I have added in a few new things. Mangas got me hooked on bagel chips. I dropped my nightly Oreos in favor of freeze dried fruit. I haven’t had tuna packages since the AT, but I bought a few for this leg. I also got a summer sausage. I’m really excited for a new dinner option. I bought some shelf stable tortellini and a package of pesto seasoning. I’m going to try to make pesto tortellini. I hope it turns out ok, because it is a little heavier than ramen or mac and cheese.
I’m looking forward to knocking off this section before heading back to Colorado. The Basin is notorious for being extremely hot, sunny, and not a lot of shade. I’m really happy we are doing it now instead of in the beginning of July.
“A grateful heart is a beginning of greatness. It is an expression of humility. It is a foundation for the development of such virtues as prayer, faith, courage, contentment, happiness, love, and well-being.”
- James E. Faust