The Red Desert.
Coming out of the Wind River Range I knew the next section of the CDT would be as stark a contrast as anything I seen on trail this far. The Wind's with plentiful water, cool temps, vegetation and an abundance of weekend hikers. And, as the NoBo's warned, the desert on the other end of the spectrum with ticks, blazing heat and long road walks and few humans.
So heading into South Pass City I knew things were about to change. I was excited though and in good spirits. For one, I had a bit of a injury in the Wind's and it now seemed I was on the recovery side of things.
Here the CDT coincides with the Oregon Trail for a bit.
the sun was brutal at times, scorching any skin that wasn't covered.
This shot was taken looking back north at an approaching storm. I did my best to outrun most storms out there because I was the tallest thing for miles around. I find that lack of shelter and an approaching storm directly corresponds to the pace at which I hike. Thus there were many desert miles in which I was nearly running.
Wild horses running free.
A beautiful afternoon sky
Just some old bones
The stretch of trail just to the south of Rawlins had some water sources that were especially alkaline and therefore undrinkable. It when on like this for about 35 miles.
A day under two months and I hit the WY/ CO border. It felt incredible to hit this marker because I knew I would soon be headed back up into the mountains and also because I had been hiking with another SoBo, Will, since Encampment. This was the first time I was hiking with another SoBo CDTer really since the Bob Marshall wilderness in northern Montana. I think on our first day hiking together, Will and I talked nonstop for 12 hours.
I hope my face says it all.
For now I've got my eye on the prize, which is getting to Grand Lake and catching a flight out of Denver to make it to my dear friends, Grace and Peter's wedding.