CDT day 83: Dubois!

July 26
Mileage: 30
1514.5 miles hiked

I wake up at 4:30 in the freezing dark (coldest hour of the night!) so that I have enough time to hike the 30 miles to the pass and still hitch into town. I shiver through my breakfast in the dark but then the first light of dawn comes over the mountains while I’m walking and it’s all worth it. I wish I woke up this early every day. But to do that I’d have to be asleep by eight… and it’s not even dark out by then. Soon, though. Fall is coming!

Three long climbs today. I take the wrong trail for a halfmile and fall behind- and then I crash. I sit on the ground next to a stream blearily eating chips. I’m tired. My body is tired today! Onward. Climbs! The trail has a million junctions, it’s hard to keep track of where I am. Oh and I only have a bit of jerky and a few spoonfuls of nut butter left, for food. Oh this day.

I never catch up to Track Meat and Spark. The only reason I even see them each day, being the slow walker that I am, is because we usually take an hour lunch, and I’m often about a half hour behind. But no lunch today, in the rush.

A few miles before the pass the trail winds pass Brooks Lake- jagged mountains rise up on both sides of the wide flat water, giving me a taste of what I imagine the Wind River range will be like. Wyoming is really beautiful today, and I know the epic-ness has only just begun.

It’s a hard hitch from the pass into Dubois. I get there at 5:30 and I’m standing in the hot sun for almost an hour, but then Dude in a Pickup Truck comes to the rescue, per usual, and ferries me along. Wherever you’re hitching, no matter how stuck you are- Dude in a Pickup Truck will eventually stop, even when no-one else will. Dude drops me off in two-block Dubois, which features a string of homey motels and a couple of quiet cafes. Buck-30 and our english friend Benjamin are there, as well as Shera, who is hiking northbound and whose blog I read! It’s fun to follow someone online and then meet them at last. It’s good to be around hikers! I only wish she were hiking south, instead of us passing like ships in the night. It’d be fun to hang more!

Dinner is a burger from the diner, a wonderful shower is had, much online errands are done and then I collapse, listening to the sound of the Wind River through the window of our motel room.

Photos on instagram