August 12, 2013
Sweetwater River to Hillside near oil field
Planning on doing 40 miles in a day requires a bit of forethought, at least it does for me. As such I set an alarm to wake up at 5am sou could start hiking before 6am. As soon as I was awake I needed to get up to pee, so I got out of my warm sleeping bag and tent to do so. When I emerged and looked up into the still starry sky I even saw a shooting star! What a great start to the day.
The weather was very cooperative today and provided cloud cover for the majority of the day. There was also a nice breeze that helped keep me cool as well. The first 15 miles to Weasel Spring went quickly and I was there by 10:15. Since this was the only water for the next 30 miles I set up my stove and cooked up a meal that I would otherwise wait until the end of the day to eat. Soon after I arrived a NOBO also showed up by the name of Shea. He apparently had forgotten his water treatment drops at camp a couple day ago and was hoping to run into someone at the spring to borrow treatment from. It was his lucky day because I had just gotten there and Let him borrow my filter. He still had quite a few miles to go to get to South Pass City so I also gave him some of my treatment tablets (MSR Aquatabs) to get him through.
After eating and filtering my own water I set off again around 11:30. For the rest of hiking for the day I got to listen to more of Angels and Demons (audiobook) and a variety of music. It was nice to have some distraction from the very open and expansive great divide basin.
Just after 5pm as I was hiking along I snuck a peak behind me to see if any vehicles were coming down the dirt road that is the trail since I had earbuds in and couldn't necessarily hear one coming. Usually it reveals nothing unexpected, just the road I have just trod, but his time there was a jeep. I did my usual routine and started walking alongside the road instead of in the middle of it to allow the jeep to pass and continue on its way. To my surprise the jeep pulled up along side and the folks inside asked if I needed anything. That of course depended on what they had, so I asked and was rewarded with baby carrots, blueberries, a diet coke, a hard boiled egg, string cheese, Cheetos, pita chips, and potato chips! What a delightful surprise and my first trail magic from trail angels in the state of Wyoming. Tom and Laura Paul are from New York State and have been coming out to Wyoming for the past 40 years. They have grown tired of the overcrowded national park attractions, preferring instead to spend their time in "wide open spaces" as the put it. Much to the benefit of CDT hikers because they also like to drive part of the great divide basin and offer treats to whoever they come across. Lucky me! They also mentioned that it is currently the Perseid meteor shower as well as debris from some comet so there should be lots of meteors tonight, assuming it clears off. Too late for me to stay up, but maybe I'll catch some in the morning.
After that wonderful surprise and a nice chat with the couple, they had to be moving on and I still had about 7-8 miles to hike to make 40
for the day. I got my tent setup at 8:30 and am now enjoying a lemon drop courtesy of 12 Oz. cheers!