Yes, I am still a walkin'! I was pretty certain I would have cell service in Yellowstone or at least the Wi-Fi, right!?!? It's a national park, don't they want the word to get out on Instagram how awesome your family vacation is at Yellowstone!?!?
Sadly no, or more acuratly At&t doesn't care if you want to post about your rad shot of Old Faithful. Oh, and a storm knocked out the only Wi-Fi in town too so none of that for me either. Anyway, that's my excuse for not posting in awhile.
Things here on the good old CDT are going. Through good and bad, blazing hot, wet and cold, trail and no trail, the only real continuity is that (for the most part) the sun rises on my left and set on my right, leaving both sides of my gave equally sunburned. Since the last time I posted, I successfully completed the states of Montana and Idaho, crossed over into Wyoming, hit the 1,000 mile mark and made it through Yellowstone National Park. But other than that, same old, same old.
My days having mostly still been solitary, but as of just yesterday I've begun to see more North bounders (horray- 7 in one day!!) And even st my current town stop in Dubois, WY right now, there are 4 whole other thru-hikers! They are all NoBo's but hikers none the less. I've been told (by almost every NoBo I've met) that I'm the third SoBo they've seen. Two guys, a Brit and a German, and then me. So for me there will be no catching the SoBo pack but perhaps the pack might catchup to me. As for now I'm just happy to be seeing other hikers, even if we are most literally crossing paths.
As for the highs and lows of the past 10 or so days. The last of Montana/Idaho (honestly we zig-zagged across the border so many times I never knew what state I was in) it seemed like one long bush-wack. Until the map actually called out "start bush wack here" which I have never see written on a map before. But in a way I find it more liberating to be honest when a trail doesn't exist rather than spending time looking for something that isn't there. Having no trail is an open canvas and I do wish in these sections CDTers all had trackers on them. I think it would make for an interesting art project to frame a landscape from birds eye view, tell hikers they had to get from point A to point B, and track each person's line. No doubt each person's would be different, maybe only slightly or perhaps vastly. And maybe similarities might form between the NoBo's and Sobo's depending on the type of terrain we'd faced before. If the NoBo's were used to following rivers it might be the familiar route we'd take, the SoBo' high up on ridges- maybe the route they'd take. Or maybe differences based on age or weather or pack weight. Or more like just chaos only confined by the boundary of the canvas of the landscape. Or maybe I'm just tired and starting to ramble again.
Anyway back to the last 10 days... I like to think of the difficulties in Montana as just a way of it really wanting me to stay. It was determine to keep me there but alas I had to move on. I said my goodbyes and thanked it for the gorgeous views, find memories and amazing people I'd had the pleasure to spend time with. Then Wyoming and nearly immediately into Yellowstone which was rather fantastic with the thermal areas- unlike anything I'd seen before. If you do get the chance to go I recommend doing some of the backcountry trails. You'll find magnificent thermals with a fraction of the crowds. And apart from some misplaced packages and no cell service, the all you can eat breakfast was true to its name.
And the high of some magnificent trail magic by way of an old friend surprising me with his presence. My good friend Breakaway, with who/whom (I have no idea, use which ever one you think it right) I hiked part of the PCT with, met up with me on trail for an afternoon of hiking! To the most loyal of my followers- you'll remember Breakway was the mastermind behind the side trip to South Sister, one of my favorite memories from that trail. He surprised me at a trailhead with bakery treats, beer and fruit- the thru-hiker trinity. And not only that but it was wonderful to have a hiking partner for the rest of the day and so much fun to catchup over dinner at camp. To Breakway: simply thank you. Holy cow, what a wonderdul surprise and gesture. A memory worth a thousand smiles.
Now to the real reason you all come here, the photos:
Sunrise from camp
A little worries about what this could mean. Randomly at the top of some hill.
The trail in southern Montana/Idaho. And we're not even to the called out bushwach part yet...
Mark's Inn, one of the resupply stops along trail. No idea what the 'playhouse' is, nor do i think i want to know. But just couldn't walk by this and not take a picture it two. Check out my Instagram @outrowalks for the full series.
Road walks are even more fun when you have 10' mounds to scramble over.
Made it to yellowstone NP
And then later that day, to the WY border! You can tell because im wearing the same clothes.
Bluestone, Jk, just seeing if you were paying attention. It's Yellowstone
The site of the All you can eat
1/3 of the trinity.
Heart Lake out in the distance, where camp was that night.
Felling pretty spent that day but always got to get that selfie with the national forest signs.
Dont forget to fill up your water along the way. I mean as long as your feet are already soaked might as well get that nice and clean middle of the stream water.
Loads of afternoon storms recently. At least this one comes with the prospect of gold.
Can already see the landscape start to change as I approach the Wind River range.
Signing off from mile 1110.5,