Day 70 - Yellowstone living up to the hype (32.3 miles)
July 18, 2021
Miles: 32.3 miles
I didn’t get up at 4am like I wanted. Hard to get moving when it’s still dark. Also I figured the earlier I got to the road the harder the hitch so slept in until 5am.
I had just over 12 miles to the road to Grant Village and it looked to be easy so I was hoping to get there by 9:15am so I could make it in time for breakfast. I would be walking right in front of a ranger station so I hoped no one would be around to ask for my permit.
The hike to the road was super easy. It was mostly flat and very level with no rocks on hike on, all dirt. I finally got to see Heart Lake. I camped near it last night but too many trees to see it. It was a good 7 miles before the trees opened up and got an amazing view of the lake and surrounding mountain.
I passed by the ranger station right after leaving the lake and no one was home so I kept moving. I then started hiking through a thermal area with steaming creeks and bubbling areas.
I had a short climb out of the lake area then it was very flat all the way to the highway.
Got to the highway around 9:20am think I would make it for breakfast, figured it would be an easy hitch. After 25 minutes and 100 cars pass by me someone finally picked me up to take me the 7 miles to Grant Village.
I walked into the restaurant right at 10am thinking I just missed breakfast. The lady said they have a 5 minute grace period and was able to under biscuit & gravy to go.
I then walked next door to the ranger station to settle up my permit. The ranger there, Ethan, was very helpful. He did ask if I hitched in and I said yes as didn’t want to get in trouble for hiking in without a permit. He let me use his phone to call the mainline as his computer isn’t hooked up to the permit database, found that kind of odd. Got my permit set. Then Ethan offered for me to go over to his apartment to take a shower since I had mentioned I wanted to take one but I knew the public showers were closed this year because of covid. I was thrilled as I didn’t think I would get to take a shower for a few more days and I really needed one. I’m pretty sure he would have let me crash at his place if I wanted to.
The laundry mat was open so went to wash my clothes as they stunk, just like me. While my clothes were in the wash I walked over to the gas station to get done lunch and a few things to get me through the rest of the day. By the time I got back I put my clothes in the dryer. While my clothes were drying I saw they sold hiking poles and I needed one as walking with one wasn’t much fun especially uphill. I was surprised how cheap it was as everything else was overpriced.
Got my clothes clean so it was off to Ethan’s apartment but I forgot which one was his so went back to the ranger station to ask. Then on the way over to the apartment I stopped at the general store for ice cream.
Got to Ethan’s and he was there, on his lunch break. While I was in the shower he made me lunch of plate of several different type of beans on lettuce with a slice a bread. He also gave me a few things of food to go.
I then realized I didn’t have a copy of my permit as it was emailed to me so I went back to the general store to see if they had WiFi as had zero cell reception. Found a hot spot and was able to get my permit on my phone. Then was off to hitch back to the trailhead. I got one pretty quickly.
Was back to hiking by 2:30pm, spent about twice the time in the village than planned but it was good time spent. I had about 20 miles to go to camp but knew it would be easy, mostly flat.
I hiked mostly in the woods but did end up hiking along the shore of several lakes.
Towards the end of the day I ran into a couple out camping and talked with them for a little bit as they told me about the geysers basin coming up. It’s a good thing they told me as I would have walked around as my app said to bypass that area as it was a swamp getting to the geysers, but I mention of the geysers in the app.
While hiking towards the geysers I got my feet soaked and muddy. Then right before I was finishing up with the swamp I had a small creak to cross with a broken log going across. I ended up slipping and falling into the water. I got part of my bag wet but most of my stuff is in a bag liner inside so it stayed dry.
I got to the geysers and ended hiking so slow as it was such a cool area. None of them were blowing up high but the trail goes right by them so I assume these geysers don’t go up high like Old Faithful. I do think this is the other area in the part you can get that close to a geyser.
The rest of the evening was battling the mosquitos. This is the worst they have been in this trip. Normally while hiking they aren’t an issue but this was not the case, I couldn’t keep them off me. Finally the last mile they went away and was able to enjoy the hike into camp.