CDT Day 63: Green River Campground (Pinedale, WY) to Pixley Creek – Gannett Peak Lodge to Cougar, Bear, or Moose Camp
Miles hiked: 9
Total miles: 1073
Back to the trail and into the Winds, finally. After trying and failing to eat all the food that we bought at the grocery store, we said goodbye to Pinedale and hiked into the mountains as far as the setting sun would allow. So excited to be here. So excited for the next section.
I had a crappy night of sleep in room 10 at Gannett Peak Lodge. It’s just one of those things now. I sleep better on trail than I do in town. The room was too warm, the air too stagnant, the bed too wide and too comfy. I was restless and relieved when 7am rolled around. An acceptable time to start tapping on my phone.
SpiceRack joined me eventually then we commenced our gorge-fest, eating the chips, salsa, tortillas, beans, cereal, mocha, hummus, pita, and broccoli with reducing enthusiasm as our stomachs stretched to their limits. Even after getting a late check-out we didn’t have a chance. Fortunately Rooster and Crunchberry had just gotten to town, so we found them at the Mexican restaurant and gave them all we couldn’t finish. In exchange, they gave us beta on the Knapsack Col alternate that they hiked the day before and we would encounter tomorrow. They both looked over it even after two beers, and regaled us with a tale of danger and hardship. Caution was the overarching lesson. Alright alright, that got me excited!
After only five minutes we caught a ride with an awesome local who took us almost all the way back to the trailhead even though it was well over an hour each way. Keri, you rule! It took us over an hour and a half to find a hitch to take us the last six miles, but we made it. At 4:45pm we left the campground and started hiking into the mountains for real this time.
Squaretop Mountain impressed me with it’s ability to both look cool, and stay in view for eight miles straight. The walking was easy up the deep canyon of the Green River, which twisted water, turquoise with glacial silt, through the meadows where we pounded the dirt. Three big moose and a letter warning of a dangerous cougar in the area were the sights of note.
At 8:15pm we called it a day, setting up to cowboy in a great spot within earshot of a creek and river. A moose, bear, or maybe that cougar crashed through the brush when I collected water for dinner. Eh, I’ll probably still sleep better than I did in town.