Trip Report CDT: Wyoming pt2

Too dry

The rain starts in the early hours of the morning. None of my friends managed to catch up to me despite this being near our planned camp spot for last night. I sleep in for two hours hoping the rain will stop but it doesn't. Heading out I take the wrong trail junction three separate times. Eventually the sun comes out in full force and my spirits lift.

Once I connect to the "main" dirt road that heads to Green River Lake Campground a truck pulls over and offers a ride. I gladly take it and my day of hiking finishes around noon. I hang gear out to dry and nervously wait to see my friends arrive. I am also out of food and am depending on Floss showing up to bring a resupply food box I mailed to her girlfriend in Pinedale.

I meander back and forth around the campground and to the trailhead, chatting to day hikers. Lot of them offer me food but I refuse for the moment telling them I may need help tomorrow if none of my friends show up. Eventually in the late afternoon Tetanus arrives and I breathe a sigh of relief. He has not seen any sign of Roach or Wheels... An hour later Crush rolls on in with a hitch and then a further hour later Flo, Floss and her girlfriend appear with my food resupply!

We sneak into a campsite and hope to see Roach and Wheels arrive before nightfall as their food resupply is here as well. A campsite next to ours offers us a Ziploc bag with 3lbs(1.4kg) of taco meat, another Ziploc of tortilla chips and a quarter tub of sour cream. The gang pigs out and settles in for the night.

Squaretop mountain

We awake shrouded in fog that eventually rolls back as the sun pours in. No sign of Roach or Wheels still so we make a plan to stash their food in a bear box and put notes everywhere to let them know when the arrive.

Hiker Crush

The sun is a mood booster as everyone gets ready to head into the Wind River Range and officially rejoin the CDT. I keep up with Crush for a few hours before we split ways. He has to go into Pinedale to resupply while I head for the Knapsack Col alternate.

Winds Winds

Climbing begins gradually and then suddenly I find myself in a stone chasm. I make a mistake, climbing up Shannon Pass before doubling back. I make another mistake and try a class 5 climb up a rock wall instead of noticing the obvious track around an alpine lake. Eventually on track the climb up Knapsack Col begins and it's tough. There is no clear path and it's exhaustingly steep. Well worth it as I summit and stare down Twins Glacier. Continuing my XC I ignore the GPS and head start down the valley hopping along massive boulders and then glissading over snow fields. It feels like another world and reminds me of my adventures in the Sierra Nevada.

Knapsack Col

Connecting back to the trail I walk down Titcomb Basin towards glistening lakes. I chat with some young guys camping behind a large rock for wind cover. They had just completed Gannett Peak which is the high point for the state of Wyoming! I continue a bit further and find a small stone wall to setup camp. The wind is roaring through this valley and it ends up dropping hail for 10 minutes before drying up again.

Titcomb Basin Twin Glacier Titcomb Basin

I wake up with all my gear dry for the first time in what seems like an eternity. I hike out of Titcomb Basin passing tons of day-hikers in the early morning and assume there must be an easily reached trailhead nearby. I bail on my plan to hike the Alan Dixon Wind River Route. My phone has not been charging properly, my maps haven't been loading quickly and most importantly I have no fellow hiker to share the danger with.


With that decision my morale tanks and I have little desire to hike. I get to and do a river ford then spend three to fours hours waiting for my friends to catch up. I chat with two NOBO hikers, MapQuest and Idaho, who confirm that the Cirque of the Towers, the next alternate, is doable. Eventually Tetanus, Flo, Indy and Floss arrive and we hike the remaining few hours together to camp.

Texas Pass in the distance

Waking up early I'm greeted with sweat soaked gear. With a heavy sigh I pack up and leave early alone from camp. I pass a NOBO hiker, Missing Person, and we briefly chat about my bear encounters. Then I catch Loose Cannon breaking camp as I talk with him for half an hour about everything. Finally I run into a NOBO Kiwi, Forgetful, and try to donate my bear spray to him. He is curious if it works and discharges it into the woods to make sure.

Texas Pass Cirque of the Towers

I rush towards the next alternate, Cirque of the Towers, over white grey granite and past alpine lakes. I climb up Texas Pass which is a short but steep boulder navigation puzzle. The crest is covered in snow and I get to glissade down a bit the other side. The valley down below if full of day hikers. Next is Jackass Pass and on the summit I meet a SOBO hiker, Sprout. We descend into the next valley but the daylight runs out so I camp by a river hoping maybe I'll get lucky and stay dry tonight.

Cirque of the Towers

To my surprise everything is bone dry in the morning! I head out for the final pass before I reconnect with the CDT, Temple Pass. It's a tough climb but the air is crisp in the early morning and the sun greats me softly at the top. As I come down I contemplate that my time in the Winds will be over by the end of today. Cirque of the Towers

The section to reconnect back to the main trail is absolutely devastated. There was a wind storm in recent years and fallen trees lay every in a criss-cross heap blocking progress. I continually get off trail to find a easier way through the chaos. After what seems like hours I rejoin the CDT and the tread is better, at least way less blowdowns to deal with.

Cirque of the Towers

The day carries on and the temperature increases as I lose elevation. The terrain changes quickly from impressive canyons to low lying brush similar to Idaho. Once again my morale dips and I take a long break by a stream while stuffing my face with food. I eat way more than my allotted food for the day but can't help myself as my hunger pangs have been increasing the last few weeks. I try to take a 30 minute nap which is interrupted when a moose dashes out of the woods 15ft(5m) away from me and keeps going. The rest of the day is uneventful and I've left the mountains far behind.

I wake early to do 8mi(13km) and hitch into the town of Lander. As I'm hitching a SOBO hiker, Sorority Steve, gets dropped off back on trail. He mentions he's just gotten over giardia and we hope to see each other soon on trail. A family driving out along the dirt road I hiked on this morning stops for a moment and I sheepishly ask if they'd take me into town, they say yes!

I get into Lander and head to the McDonald's for cheap eats, wifi and phone charging. While I'm there I chat with a SOBO hiker, Wildcard, about our love of video games. A quick resupply at the Family Dollar and then I hitch back out of town. The sky is lightly clouded which is appreciated as there are no more trees to be seen as I enter Wyoming's desert, the Great Divide Basin.

Great Divide Basin

The trail takes me through the tiny historic gold mining town of South Pass City. I take my time and walk into every building to read the plaques describing the lives of the local people in the late 1800s. The rest of the day is smooth with a bit of XC. I run into Slim Shady, going NOBO, who I'd met way back in New Mexico and we chat for awhile before I continue on to camp.

Despite being in a desert I'm still a decent altitude of +7000ft(2134m). I wake covered in moisture as usual and begin the march across the flat plains. The sun beats me down and with nothing to look at I spend time jotting down notes on my phone for a new TTRPG game I'd like to create. The trail at this point is just following dirt roads unceasingly for miles and miles.

Over the course of the day I meet a string of straggling NOBOs: Wicked, Brad, Scot, and El Dee. They confirm that there are two hikers are just ahead of me. I run into Out There, also known as Tom, who I shuttled with to the start of the Florida Trail the year prior. He mentions he plans on doing the Te Araroa and I tell him I plan on doing it as well so we might run into each other again before the year is through. Finally the last NOBO CDT hiker rolls by, Heavy.

I cruise all day from piped springs to water caches and easily do 40mi(64km). I hike a bit into dusk, passing a tent, to take advantage of some cooler mileage before setting up camp.

I sleep in a bit and as I set out Gadget, who I'd met back near Helena, passes me. I try to catch him but realize I forgot my headlamp at camp adding an extra 1mi(1.6km) detour to go retrieve it. Eventually I do catch him and I ask him how the Butte Super Cutoff went.

The day is almost indistinguishable from the last. Dirt roads stretch to the horizon and I'm compelled to follow them. At the first good water source I meet Mountain Goat going NOBO, who I previously seen in New Mexico at a similar water source. Also here is Sorority Steve. After a quick fill up, Steve and I hike out together. We spend the rest of the day hiking and chatting. Steve sells me on the idea of doing the AT and we geek out on our nostalgia for AoE2.

At the end of the day I push for 40mi(64km) and leave Steve behind. I pass a different tent at dusk and set up while being swarmed by flies in the pitch of night.

Waking and hiking by 0500h I blast off to reach Rawlins. I come across a hiker cowboy camping along the alkali flats, Horse Ford. The trail meanders XC on some hills before putting me on dirt roads once again. I meet a section hiker, Mercury, and we chat about his computer science background. Eventually arriving in town I head for the Econo lodge to book a room. I meet a cyclist in the lobby who is doing the Tour Divide and has previously done the Triple Crown!

My phone stops charging properly as I'm relaxing in my room and I freak out. I head over to Walmart and thankfully it turns out to just be a charging cable issue. I head over to McDonalds and hang out there for a few hours. Back at the hotel I realize my problems aren't over, the phone battery has expanded and the phone case has cracked open. It still seems to work but I'm afraid the battery will burst and alight. There is nothing I can do other than order a phone which will arrive in a week ahead of me. I spend the rest of the evening watching cartoons and eating junk food in bed.

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