CDT Day 55 — August 19
Old Faithful to Hwy 191 (Grant Village)
Rub a Dub Dub Camp to Camp Efficient
Miles hiked: 24.5
Total miles: 933.9
Today was super productive. Town chores in the morning, town chores in the evening, and we still managed to hike nearly 25 miles in between. Flat Wyoming terrain and new shoes were the key that unlocked our hidden potential. The potential to hike pretty fast and be efficient in town. I wouldn’t expect it to all come together again quite so well in the future, but it did today.
We slept in, waking naturally with the sun. There was a box waiting for us at the post office so we had an excuse to lounge around, drinking coffee and eating leftovers, sitting in the rocking chairs while admiring the neat architecture of the Old Faithful Inn. Then to the PO at 9am. New shoes and socks for me. Some bits of clothing for SpiceRack. Trail Christmas. I felt bad pulling the laces and throwing away my old shoes. I hiked over 900 miles on those guys, more than any other pair of shoes that I’ve owned. They were done though, packed out, worn down, and stinkier than a pile of cheese left in the hot sun for a day. Time for a fresh pair.
We finally got hiking at 10am, walking out of the parking lot and across the road, into the trees. We needed to make it to Grant Village, 25 miles and a hitch away if we wanted to camp legally tonight, so we boogied as well as we could.
And the trail was great for boogieing. Mostly flat through shady lodgepole forest, both old and new. There were a few areas of note, but mostly we just hiked hard all day with the necessary breaks for water, sock changes, and food. My feet felt great in the new kicks, so light and free.
We hiked through an awesome thermal area, bubbling pools and small geysers blowing sulfurous steam across our path. It was a treat to see these up close, and far away from the tourist hotspot around Old Faithful. I really wish I had more time to sit still in a special place like this. Some other time…
Flat hiking and a break along the Shoshone Creek. Then we sloshed through knee-deep muck around the shores of Shoshone Lake. Each step brought the question of “how deep and I gonna go?” Rumor had it that there were leeches hanging out in there, but I’m skeptical. We didn’t hang around though, and slapped away looking for clean water to splash through.
It was all fast walking from there except for the hilariously deep water crossing at the outlet of Shoshone Lake. The water reached a couple of inches above my belly button, but I was in dire need of a wash anyway so I didn’t mind.
5pm, 8 miles to go to the highway. We hiked as fast as we could, both trying to make it before dark and to outrun the mosquitos. We made it at 7:45pm and immediately caught a ride to Grant Village. Laundry, dinner, resupply, shower. It was well past sunset by the time we finished all of our chores, but we feel good about getting it all done. No time to find the hiker campsite in the dark. Nope, we set up to stealth camp in the trees behind the laundry building. Bright stars above, warm belly below.