Day 64 - into Pinedale after all (26.5 miles)
July 12, 2021
Miles: 26.5 miles
Even though I went to bed earlier than normal I had a hard time waking up. I had set my alarm for 5am but hit snooze for a full hour. It didn’t help I could see all the mosquitos outside my tent ready to attack me as soon as I left my tent.
I was able to pack up real quick and on trail by 6:40am. I did have to stop for water about half mile down trail as I wanted to get out of that area as fast as possible.
I didn’t have a great morning of hiking. I felt very sluggish and just didn’t have much energy. I needed to average about 35 miles for the next 3 days to be able to bypass Pinedale. However the longer I hiked the more that sounded not like a good idea. I had started rationing my food yesterday and just don’t think I had eaten enough.
I ended up going up a small pass, not big but enough to where I was spent way too early in the day. When I got to the top I knew I needed to go into Pinedale after all and get more food. I knew I couldn’t keep this up for 3 days. Not to mention it could take me longer if the blow downs get worst and I’ll be going over more large peaks.
So at the next water source, about 10 miles in the day and half way to the Pinedale turn off, I ate as much food as I could. Once I started hiking again I felt a lot better.
2 miles after my rest stop I came to a trail junction and saw on my CDT app I could take that trail and get to Pinedale quicker as it was a little shorter and bypassed some climbs.
This was the sign I needed that going into Pinedale was the right choice. So I made the left turned onto the side trail. From there I had a few blow downs but no worse than what I had been dealing with on the CDT. I did have to take several trails to get to the Elkhart Trailhead where from there it was a 15 mile hitch on the road to town.
Before getting to the trailhead I ran into some forest rangers cutting up the down trees. One of them was grilling me on proper trail methods like food storage, camping and human waste. I told him the right answers as he let me go on my way.
I got to the trailhead around 6pm. I was told that it’s normally an easy hitch to town as lots of people use this trailhead but when it gets too late it can be a problem. I got lucky and the first person to leave gave me a lift. I don’t think there were going to be many leaving the rest of the day as I only passed 1 person heading back to the parking lot.
Got dropped off in the middle of town. Pretty much everything is right there. I first went to the gear shop to get new sun gloves as mine were in bad shape despite my attempt of repairs. Then walked up and down the street trying to decide where I wanted to eat. I wanted pizza but there really wasn’t a pizza place so I went to a Chinese restaurant, something I haven’t had in awhile.
I walk in and there is an older gentleman sitting at a table and he invites me over. We ended up talking awhile about my trip while we eat. He even bought me my meal. That was very nice of him but the best part was having a good conversation with someone again as I’ve been alone with no one around for about 200 miles. Right at the end of dinner he offered for me stay at his ranch headquarters a few miles out of town which I would have a bed, shower and laundry. I jumped on that as I probably just end up paying $12 to camp in the other side of town without a shower or laundry. He even drove me to the grocery store and waited for me to buy my resupply.
We arrived at the ranch just before sunset and the ranch was very nice. He showed me to my room for the night then got to take a shower and wash my clothes.
This was such a great pick me up, I really needed this after dealing with all the stress of trying to get to the next town on little food then having to lose basically a day get in and out of Pinedale, and not to mention the mosquitos driving me crazy. He even offered to drive me back to trail in the morning which I knew would be hard to hitch. The shuttle service charges $55 a trip.
After this awesome trail magic I just know tomorrow will be great as I take the Knapsack Col trail which is suppose to have amazing views like Cirque of the Towers. The sky was much less hazy today so hopefully it will be better tomorrow.