Day 77 - found the SOBO bubble (34.4 miles)
July 25, 2021
Miles: 34.4 miles
Yesterday took it out of me and got started an hour later than I want. I had about 35 miles to hike for the day and with over 8,000 ft of climbing so I knew it was going to be a long one.
I had 3 good climbs pretty early on. They didn’t look too bad but you just never know what the trail will be like.
The climbs ended up not being too bad, the trail was nice and level for the most part. It was steep in spots but you got to expect that.
Right before the top of the first climb I ran into the first southbounder of the day. Talk with him for awhile. He said he was in a group of 8 other hikers. I was shocked when he told me that, figured I would see a lot of people.
Over the course of the day I ran into 22 southbounders. They all kind of seem surprised to see me, a northbounder, as for most of them I’m the first they’ve seen. I know there are a few northbounders ahead of me but I think most took the Butt cutoff route after Yellowstone, cutting off a lot of CDT miles.
After those morning climbs I had an easy hike to a lake where I filled up on water as I had a long stretch until my next water. Also, it was the start of a long climb up to the ridge with no shade.
It was steep hiking from the lake but it always is. After about a half of a mile it got less steep but still continued to climb. The climb seem to take forever. Every time it looked like I was reaching the top I would see more uphill.
Finally I got to a peak and it was lots of up and downs on the ridge. It was pretty hazy and no cloud cover but had a nice breezy to keep me somewhat cool. I will say with all that uphill I was hiking at about 3.3 mph.
At a peak I found some tree cover to take my long lunch break before I continued onto Elk Mountain and my last climb for the day.
I knew Elk would be tough as I would need to carry up a lot of water but ended up being not too bad of a hike.
Normally I would have a great view at over 10,000 ft but that stupid hazy.
I hiked along the side of the mountains all the way down to my campsite for the night.
Plan to wake up at 4:15am as I’m only 6.5 miles from Bannock Pass and a hitch into Leadore, ID. I’ve been told it can take a long time to get a hitch as not much traffic but all the southbounders I’ve talked to the last few days said they didn’t have to wait too long. I think with the fire closures more traffic has to come over this pass.