CDT Day 73 — September 6
Fish Pond Spring to Rawlins, WY
Basin Survival Camp to Econolodge
Miles hiked: 11
Total miles: 1297
It was just a short stretch to the promised land today. So many hopes and dreams were pegged on Rawlins, WY on the grind through the Basin that this felt like a huge achievement. Rawlins will have pizza. Rawlins will have vegan ice cream. Rawlins will have hash browns. Rawlins will have lemonade. Mostly food-based hopes and dreams, now that I think about it. We made it. Let’s see if it can live up to our lofty culinary expectations.
The whole crew was up before sunrise, eager to get to town and also in anticipation of another hot day in the desert. We formed a stretched-out line, heading south on the Hwy 287 shoulder for the last ten miles to town.
It was cool to begin with, but quickly heated up on the pavement. However, the road was mostly flat so the miles came easy. I listened to some Hardcore History to pass the time. By 9:30am we hit the outskirts of town, diving into the first gas station convenience store we found for cold drinks and snacks. I felt like a king sitting on the curb outside, drinking an Arnold Palmer and eating Oreos and a pickle. We hunkered in the shade of the building, ignoring the cigarette butts and urine smell, just savoring the first real shade in literally over 50 miles.
The Econolodge offered a friendly hiker rate so we headed there to give them our coveted business. Check-in wasn’t for a few more hours so we found some food, then hung out around the pool for the duration. I ate an entire pint of Ben and Jerry’s, and felt good about it. The receptionist said that out of control guests toting guns was a regular occurrence here. This provided context when she assured us that a bunch of gross hikers hanging around the pool wasn’t something that would gain notice.
We made it into our rooms in time to dodge the apocalyptic dust storm kicked up by a huge thunderstorm. Spice and I gazed out our window, drawn to it by the howling wind outside. Debris raced by and cars pulled over. We traded texts with Rooster and Crunchberry in the adjacent room, in awe of how terrible it was out there and how grateful we were to be inside.
We collected a bunch of packages from the post office right before closing time. A lot of Spice’s new gear showed up, including a friend’s backpack and sleeping bag, so that she can return to the modern age. Good gear. She’s excited to give it a try. I’m also excited to announce that Gronk Ball, a Bluetooth speaker for bros, is now with us. It may weigh three pounds, but the party is always worth it.
Pineapple and Seadog showed up at the motel. Socializing commenced. Bedtime was reached. Sleeping commenced. I’m unspeakably thankful to be out of the heat, with abundant water and in good company. Rawlins is a little bit rough around the edges, but it is everything that I had hoped for.