CDT Day 54 — August 18
Yellowstone National Park to Old Faithful
Goodbye Idaho, Hello Wyoming Camp to Rub a Dub Dub Camp
Miles hiked: 12
Total miles: 909.4
Just a short and easy cruise to Old Faithful today. From a hiking perspective, there isn’t much to say, but from a human perspective, Old Faithful geyser and the other geothermal features around it are pretty darn cool. I guess that’s why there are so many clean people and cars around these parts.
With only 12 miles to Old Faithful Village, SpiceRack and I took our time getting up, kind of with the sun. We were cruising through flat forest by 7:30am. My body was feeling recovered from yesterday’s road walking, surprisingly spry and bouncy. My feet felt particularly happy, better than they should have felt, perhaps hamming it up after hearing that it was going to be a short day.
It was sunny and clear, yet cool, which allowed me to extend my mild morning dehydration all the way to Little Firehole River. I filled up there, then crossed over with Spice into a different world of outdoor recreation. The path became wide, the scent in the air changed from dust and pine, to cologne and powder. Big groups, small groups. Now I felt out of place, though nothing had changed except for the company.
Dirt trail turned into boardwalk at Biscuit Basin, a steaming and sulfurous plain of bubbles and unreal colors. Mudpots, geysers, and pools. We meandered with the crowds aross the wide Firehole River, the biggest of the trail so far by a long shot, before walking the last two miles past more beige and bubbling sights to Old Faithful Village. It struck me then, that the nature of hiking along the Continental Divide limits the number of major river crossings. We see the beginnings of many mighty creeks and rivers in the form of streams and springs, but not many in which we can swim.
We stopped in for a soda at the first building, but ended up with a full meal. Then to the ranger station for permits for the rest of the transit through the national park. Finally, we gathered snacks and joined the masses to enjoy the best sights of the area. Old Faithful isn’t as tall as I remember it, but maybe I’ve grown instead. Not likely. A short and warm day with a chance to relax a little bit. And the best people watching in months. It feels like I’m a world away from the CDT, yet I’m sitting right on it. That is the journey.