Side of FR 540(1908.3) to US HWY 287/26(1915.2)
Elevation: 7,000 feet
It got pretty cold last night. I stayed toasty warm in my freshly washed sleeping bag, but it was hard to get moving this morning. I had to cowboy camp last night because I couldn’t find a suitable spot to set up my tent. My tent retains heat better and I find it easier to get up on colder mornings as apposed to when I cowboy camp. I had the added motivation to get moving not only because it was a town day, but because I was seeing my mom and dad again. The hike to our prearranged meeting spot was nice and easy. The bugs were hardly noticeable and I was on a gravel road. I didn’t have to worry about sloppy muddy trail.
Gravel road alpineglow view
I got to the road about an hour early. I was worried I might be late because of bad trail conditions and I didn’t want my parents to wait on me. I used my time to catch up on writing my blog, I was one day behind. Just as I finished writing my last post another hiker appeared. It was a guy named, Z. We haven’t seen each other since Twin Lakes. I told him that if he wanted to wait 20 minutes he could catch a ride with us into town. He was happy to not have to hitch and kept me company while I waited. Hannibal and The General were right on time. As my dad likes to say, “I love it when a plan comes together”.
The drive to Dubois was almost thirty miles. Z, Hannibal, The General, and I had a nice chat. Z and I talked about the rigors of the last section, while my parents told me about their travels over the last week.
It seems like they have had an amazing road trip. They went to Grand Teton NP, Yellowstone, Little Bighorn, and Cody, MT. They had some great pictures and stories. We are even going back to the Tetons tomorrow so I can check it out.
They asked if I had rather get cleaned up pretty something to eat first. I was so tired and dejected last night that I went to bed without dinner. Obviously I had rather eat breakfast first. Z joined us for breakfast where we met another hiker named, LETITBE. He had already eaten, but sat with us while we ate. It was a very enjoyable meal. I had 3 eggs over easy, hash browns smothered with cheddar cheese, sausage, bacon, and a pancake the size of a dinner plate. Hannibal remarked that it was an embarrassing amount of food. I simply responded with, embarrassing to who. I really didn’t think I would eat it all, but I easily finished everything in front of me along with four cups of coffee. Now that I’m at a more manageable elevation my hiker hunger is stronger than it has ever been. In my head I hear in Darth Vader’s voice, “The hiker hunger is strong with this one” every time I eat a meal.
After breakfast we went to our hotel to see about an early check in. The owner of the Black Bear Inn was very accommodating. Her housekeeper didn’t come in to work today so she was having to clean all of the rooms herself. She moved our room to the top of the queue and within thirty minutes we were able to move in. The room is very cute and probably my favorite place I have stayed while on trail. It is located right on the Wind River. Every night they have a fire by the river and offer S’mores. The owner, Liz, is very friendly and talkative. She really loves to have hikers stay here.
Beds are made with Teddy Bears holding Teddy Grams
The rest of the day was spent taking care of a lot of little tasks. I caught up on emails, downloaded new audiobooks, and most importantly I began to figure out the backcountry permit system for Yellowstone National Park. While I’m hiking through the park I have to stay in designated backcountry campgrounds. To stay in these areas I have to have a permit for exact locations. By the time I figured everything out the permit office had closed. Hopefully when I call tomorrow I can get the spots that I desire. The main issue I had was either having to hike a really short day or a really long day. I decided on a combination of the two. I’ll have three short days and one long day.
The afternoon went by quickly. Around seven o’clock we went out in search of dinner. We ended up at a pizza place called Noon Rock Pizza. The service was excruciatingly slow, but the pizza was good. I was full for the first time in days. I really wanted some ice cream, but I didn’t think I could eat another bite. After dinner we walked around for a little while. We came across an archway made completely out of antlers. Living in Telluride I am no stranger to antler art, I thought this was well done.
Mad selfie skills
We finally got back to the room a little after 9:00. It had been a long day for us all. I watched a few videos on grizzly bears. I learned a lot and I think I am prepared for grizzly country. Earlier in the day I practiced hanging my food bag. I’m using a different technique than on the AT, it is called the pct method. I find that ironic because I didn’t bother hanging my food on the pct.
Dubois is fond of giant animals
“The informality of family life is a blessed condition that allows us all to become our best while looking our worst.”
- Marge Kennedy