CDT Day 50: Taylor Mountain saddle to Poison Creek saddle – Sunset Teton Camp to Squeaky Elk, Black Wolf Camp
Miles hiked: 24.7
Total miles: 829
Why are some days so much harder than others? The mileage was the same as yesterday, the elevation gain was way down, but still, physically and mentally today was a grind. Plenty of good things to look at, though.
The sunrise was as good as I had hoped for and got us going at 6:30am. We finished the ridge walk then left the thin air high above, switchbacking down through meadows to more meadow to a saddle with a dirt road and empty pickup. A humid climb put us at a glorious creek, a fine place for a shoes-off break.
My energy ebbed after the big up and over to lunch along Hell Roaring Creek at the foot of Nemesis Mountain. Maybe those names just made me feel unwelcome. The heat got to me and my mind was all over the place as I followed Spice through a small gorge with red cliffs and raspberries (I later learned from Spice, who ate a bunch). I ate my most energizing foods, but just couldn’t shake the fog. Spice was either humoring me or was feeling similarly out of it, so I let my legs carry me at the pace they wanted to go.
The trail surprised us by turning into dirt road. Boy Scouts ate delicious smelling pizza, ATVs kicked up clouds of dust. We marched on. Clouds kept it cool.
We went up and over some big lumps of pasture, the Centennial Range receding behind us. On the final ‘over’, we surprised a herd of elk, who made noises like squeaky toys as then rumbled away. The sunset wowed me with a laser beam of pink light shortly before we found a place to camp at the edge of a wide meadow. Couscous again? Too tired to care.