Hey all! Since the last update I’ve hiked through Yellowstone National Park and on into greater Wyoming, bidding farewell to Montana and Idaho which I’ve now completed. Some will recall from my earlier posts that this is actually a return to Wyoming since I had already done the section from Atlantic City to Rawlins (with the incredible Impala, from Yorkshire!).
At this point- speaking approximately since I haven’t done the detailed math- I have completed about 2000 miles of this 3100 mile trail. One of the challenges in computing exact mileage is that unlike the Appalachian trail (which has a single, distinct route) the CDT features both an ‘official’ route as well as many published ‘alternates’ that hikers can substitute for some of the official sections. I most cases the mileage will vary between official and alternate so one has to recalll all of the details about which alternates were taken in order to get a precise mileage number.
While I’ve been hiking solo now since mid-July, I’ve been seeing more hikers than ever. I am in the SOBO ‘bubble’ of hikers heading south and have been seeing many of the same hikers in each town as we all go to resupply, etc. Additionally, over the past week or so I’ve encountered many hikers in the NOBO ‘bubble’ heading in the opposite direction as they make their way to Glacier. I’ve met way too many hikers to recall all the names, but some of them include Bootscoot, D*ckhead, Data, Dyno DNA, Etch-a-Sketch, Picky, Cheesus, Hemlock, Wide Sky, Blasphemy, Twigsy, Toast, Everest, Seeker, Really Sorry, Wrong Way, General Burnside, Roadrunner, Smiles, Fuzz and many, many others. It took me a while to get used to being a “team of one” again, but I’ve settled into it nicely and am enjoying it daily.
I am sitting right now in the beautiful public library in Dubois, Wyoming (locals pronounce it DEW-boys), a cowboy town if ever there was. The hitchhike into town was 30 miles and I ended up waiting on the road for about 30 minutes before I got a ride from Obie, a cross country traveler on vacation from Hawaii, ha! I am spending a ‘zero’ day here (no hiking) as I had a bit of a medical concern I needed to get checked out. The area around one of my vertebrae has swollen to the point where it looks like I have golf ball partially embedded in my spine. It wasn’t hurting but obviously I needed to know if it was a serious problem. It turns out to be a benign cyst which can be removed at any time via a very simple procedure done in the office. They offered to do it today but then I’d have stitches that would need time to heal to avoid risking infection on the trail. They indicated I can defer the procedure until the hike is done without any risk of damage or other concerns, so that is the plan. If it really starts bothering me more I may just have to hole up in a hotel for a few days and have it done, but hopefully not.
I’ve still got a number of other chores to complete today in town, so I’ll wrap up the narrative here. I hope you enjoy the pictures and videos and I think my next update will be from Rawlins, WY, putting me near the Colorado border. Cheers and happy trails! Max