CDT Day 6: Old Man Lake to Two Medicine Campground – Solo Winter Camp to NOBO PCT Camp
Miles hiked: 7.2
Total miles: 100.4 exactly (definitely exact)
With essentially zero miles to hike today, I slept in as long as I could until the tent became a sauna and I needed fresh air. The warm morning was melting a small patch of snow, causing minor flooding around our tent, but my sleeping pad is really just an expensive pool floatie, so there was no issue and the bright sun dried out our gear in no time. As these lazy mornings have gone so far, we got eating then got walking by around 11am for the short stroll into Two Medicine.
Lots of dayhikers struggled uphill as we breezed down. They all seemed to be doing some big 19-mile loop that sounded amazing, but not quite as nice as my plan of swimming and eating all afternoon. The scenery was of course super beautiful, but I admittedly let it pass through my brain unconsidered. The conversation was good and it felt freeing to see without observing. A bag of trail mix and packet of corn nuts later, we crossed the bridge into Two Medicine Campground, the same place where we got our permits over a week ago.
We headed to the store where I had some exciting business to take care of. With an extra jar of peanut butter in my possession on Day 1, I hid it in a rack of clothes, hoping to find it undisturbed today. And there it was, right where I had left it. Glorious. On the porch, we ate chips and hung out with the Rafiki, Tailspin, and Paws crew, enjoying the weather and food. Watching those guys (all *SNOBOs) eat with their full hiker hunger from hiking all of New Mexico already, is astonishing.
Spice and I set up at the hiker/biker site, which was shortly thereafter mobbed by a chatty group of more SNOBOs. This social whirlwind combined with the dry weather brought me back to the early days on the PCT, hiking through the California desert among a big bubble of hiker trash. It was comforting yet overwhelming at the same time. I wasn’t prepared for this level of extroversion.
Spice and I broke away to swim and do laundry in the nearby lake. The wind was blowing hard, but the soak felt good on the joints and feet. Bright sun dried, warmed, then burned me.
Back to camp for hot dinner and relaxing. The campfire program at the nearby amphitheater sounds like a hoot, but once down I couldn’t get up. The SNOBO party has moved elsewhere so the night is peaceful. Dry feet, warm belly, full soul.
*SNOBO: a term used to describe NOBO hikers who flipped up to the Canadian border and began hiking south to avoid the sketchy snow conditions in Colorado.