Wisdom, Montana

Day 106     8/13     0 miles

Big fat zero today in Leadore. I definitely needed it. For the most part my body has been holding up pretty well but after a couple thousand miles of walking I think it’s only natural to have a whole bunch of little aches and pains. A day off isn’t going to hurt any of that. Leadore didn’t have too much going on and that made it easy to really just relax. A bunch of us went out to breakfast this morning and the food was good but the service was lousy, that was no surprise though, a sign on the wall said that it would be. The grocery store and the restaurant are close walking distance to the inn so besides eating and resupplying I spent most of the day just chilling out on lawn furniture in the yard at the inn with the other hikers who were in town. The Leadore Inna general store QB demolishing a pizza 

Day 107     8/14     23 miles

I slept comfortably until about 8:30 this morning then packed up and got a quick breakfast and coffee before heading back to the trail. Whenever I take a day off from hiking it always feels like I’ve been away from it for a week. Sam, the owner of the inn, drove me, QB, Moaglee, Little Spoon and Diesel, a southbounder, up to the trail around 11am. The trail was quite pleasant today, I don’t know if it was the day off or the easy hiking but it just felt real nice all day. QB and I leap frogged with Moaglee and Little Spoon a few times and since those two have the same pack as me they showed me how to properly buckle it. I’m an idiot. I never knew I was doing it wrong, I just had all kinds of extra straps and buckles and didn’t know where they were supposed to connect. I’ve only been using it everyday for 3 months but now it all makes sense. After a while of walking through forests and over some open ridges, Queen B and I found a primo spot to camp in some pines over looking a huge valley and another incredible sunset. 

Day 108     8/15     29 miles

Today was another absolutely pleasant and peaceful day hiking the CDT. The weather was perfect for walking, probably in the 60’s and 70’s all day with zero precipitation and minimal wind. This morning we walked across Lemhi Pass which I learned has some serious historical significance as it was the Pass where the Lewis and Clark expedition crossed the Divide. It was also the border between the Louisiana Purchase and the Oregon Territory. You’ll have to google Lemhi Pass if you want a real history lesson, these are just a couple of little facts I picked up while reading the informational signs. After the pass most of the day was spent on nice soft trail through pine forest and then the last 8 or 9 miles we were up and down climbing little peaks and walking along ridges. I saw 3 black bears around 6:30, a mom and two cubs, sprinting across the trail from about 50 yards away. I saw more bears than people today. For the whole trail I’ve now seen 10 bears to QB’s 2. I guess I’m just better at seeing bears. At the end of the day we dropped way down off a ridge and found ourselves a nice little campsite in the woods.evidence of the Blair Witch QB eyeballing some big old Idaho mountains

Day 109     8/16     23 miles 

The trail today was pretty relaxing. Besides a climb up to a pass right away this morning, the miles were mostly uneventful. Around 4 this afternoon we got to Miner’s Lake Trailhead, where we had planned to meet my parents. This morning they flew from Boston to Bozeman, MT where they rented a car and drove as close to the trailhead as possible and when the road turned into a rocky jeep road they walked the remaining few miles to meet us. We all got there right on time, just good planning I guess. The 4 of us walked out the few miles to their rental and then they took us into the town of Wisdom, MT where they had rented a cabin. They took us to resupply then out to dinner and put us up for the night. My mother also brought me out a new shirt(the one I’ve been wearing has become a tattered rag so she brought me a Hawaiian shirt that I think was in my father’s current rotation), a fresh pair of sneakers, and my fleece sleeping bag liner for some colder nights that I expect. These two are the ultimate trail angels and I’ve missed eating meals on their dime. Of course it was great to see them too, I’ve definitely missed them and the rest of my family while I’ve been out here just walking all summer.a very nice family reunion with my parents in MontanaThis shirt served me well, but it’s literally falling apart. I’ll fondly remember the time we spent together and specifically when a hummingbird mistook the flowers for actual flowers. 

Day 110     8/17     29 miles

First thing this morning Cat and Den (my folks) whipped up an excellent breakfast of French toast, bacon and fried eggs before getting us back out to the trail. They parked at the campground and then the 4 of us walked the 3 miles of jeep road back to the Miner’s Lake Trailhead. The plan is for me and QB to do a 55 mile section and then tomorrow night my parents will park at Chief Joseph Pass and hike south along the Divide until we meet up. Queen B and I will get off trail for a day on Saturday and chill out with them or go on a little adventure or whatever. So shortly after we got going, about 5 miles from the trailhead we reached the top of a Pass and it was awesome! I felt pretty bad that I didn’t get my parents to walk up there with us but I didn’t know how spectacular it would be. There were big huge granite peaks in every direction and when I let out a nice loud blood curdling scream I could here my echo like 6 or 7 times over. The rest of today was lots of big mountains, wild flowers and alpine lakes. We swam in the afternoon in Slag-o-melt lake and even saw a mountain goat appropriately climbing up a mountain. In the evening we followed the trail as it contoured around the sides of mountains and eventually descended into forest where we found a place to camp. B crushing trail through the wildflowersNew shirt, new me

Day 111     8/18     27 miles

Today was no picnic. We started by dropping way down to about 5700 feet, this is the lowest the trail has been since before Silver City, NM. Then we climbed way up a long steep jeep road and the rest of the day was a series of steep climbs and then steep descents through pine forests. For the most part the views were obscured by trees except for a few times when we walked through burn areas up high on ridges. In the evening, after not seeing anybody all day, we ran into a trail crew eating supper. The Idaho Conservation Corps had been building switchbacks into the sides of mountains out here for weeks and when we walked by they fed us spaghetti, just good timing. The trail turned onto a dirt road and after a little while we met my parents and walked out a few miles with them to Chief Joseph Pass. They brought us back to the cabin and had a home cooked meal ready to eat. Things are good.a scary haunted gold mining cabin in the middle of the woodsmy parents getting a taste of the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail

Leadore, Idaho

Day 99      8/6      30 miles

Yesterday after eating burritos at Mack’s Inn in Island Park we walked a couple miles on the highway before getting to the Sawtell Resort campground. Included with a cheap tent site was full use of their hot tub, pool and showers. Along with a couple southbounders, Magpie and Schweppes, and a pair of section hikers, Margo and Jasper, we soaked in the hot tub for a couple hours. I really hope they change the water in that thing after they let 6 stinky hikers stew in there for hours. After our soak I got a plate of Lo Mein at the Chinese food place across the street and called it a night. This morning we ate breakfast sandwiches then ice cream sandwiches at the little grocery store and began walking. The first ten miles were a dirt road walk that climbed up towards Sawtell Peak. Then we followed what wasn’t much of a trail at all for about 5 miles, more of a bushwhack, through tons of wildflowers next to a creek. At some point during this bushwhack we crossed into Montana for the first time and then walked along the Idaho/Montana border for the rest of the day. Once we got away from the creek the trail climbed through a forest and up on a ridge. We walked into an awesome sunset along the ridge but there was no place to camp up there. Luckily the moon was full and we are so far west that it stays light out until 9:30. Eventually we dropped down but the only decent spot to camp was right on trail. Oh yeah I saw a coyote puppy or maybe even a wolf puppy this afternoon jumping around and stuff, it was at the top of a hill probably about 50 yards away and I really wish I got a better look at this little rascal.Bushwhacking through buku wildflowersas you can tell from these pictures, I walked into an awesome sunset tonight

Day 100     8/7     25 miles

Today was rather uneventful. We got a later start than usual since we hiked late last night. The trail went up on a ridge this morning and then through forest for about a dozen miles before we stopped at Arduous Lake for lunch, not really fit for swimming though. After lunch we walked through a burn for hours and then had a nice climb up to a pass right before Rock Spring where we broke for supper this evening. I don’t want to say it was boring, I enjoyed myself and everything but it might have been the most uneventful day of the whole trail. We did see a couple of big sheep dogs barking at us shortly before we found a spot to camp but other than that didn’t see much wildlife and no other hikers. It has been a good section for birds of prey though, lots of cool hawks.delicious icy cold water at Rock Spring 

Day 101     8/8     16 miles

We pretty much just crushed the trail all morning and into the afternoon to get to Interstate 15 where we got a ride into the town of Lima, Montana. This is a tiny little town and the motel there was full of mostly southbound hikers who are filming a documentary or something. Jan’s Cafe across the street was renting out little cabins so that was cool, we got one of those for the night. In town we finally caught up to 3 hikers who we last saw in Chama, NM and have been just ahead of us for months; Moaglee, Little Spoon, and Kibbs. After we took care of some town chores a bunch of us went out for supper at Peat Cafe where you can cook your own steaks. The place was cool and the concept of cooking your own steak must work out especially nice for them since they don’t have to pay a cook plus nobody sends their food back. We ate our steaks then resupplied for the next section at a gas station. I’ve been eating all crap on trail and that’s what gas stations specialize in.school bus for snow days that way you can’t send your food back 
Day 102     8/9     21 miles

This morning we had breakfast with Moist at Jan’s Cafe next to the cabins. He had been hiking with Mac and Appa when we last saw him down in the boot heel and got off trail in Winter Park but was about to rejoin his buddies. Mac and Appa walked in the restaurant and were shocked to see that their buddy had come back from the proverbial dead. B and I put a beating on breakfast then walked out to the interstate and put our thumbs out. We got the rare big rig to pull over and drive us the 20 miles back to the trail around 12 o’clock. Once back on trail we walked on dirt roads through desert for a couple hours until the trail climbed up on an open ridge. There were electrical storms all over the place so we took an alternate that kept us low for a few more miles and hopefully the T and L would subside. This worked out for us for awhile since we didn’t get struck by lightning but on the bushwhack up to the ridge I had to walk through all kinds of nettles that made my legs itch like whoa. The ridge was a roller coaster of steep ups and downs for about a dozen miles before eventually dropping down into some pines where we could camp. I ran into 3 southbounders today including ‘One of Us’ who I first met in Northern California on the PCT in ’15. On the left is Idaho, on the right Montana. Or the other way aroundThis rainbow started in Idaho and ended in Montana with the trail in the middle

Day 103     8/10     29 miles 

For some unexplainable reason I tossed and turned all night and barely got any sleep. Insomnia has been, without a doubt, the most frustrating and difficult obstacle I’ve had to face on this trail so far. I ended up getting a couple hours of sleep and didn’t start hiking until close to 9am. My first half dozen miles were miserable, I was exhausted and dragging ass through tall grass and constantly stepping on fresh cow pies. The trail then steeply climbed a few thousand feet and Queen B and I must have both caught the eye of the tiger or some other rush of adrenaline because we both bolted up that pass. The rest of the day my body felt pretty strong and thankfully the trail wasn’t too fierce. A good amount of dirt road and some long slow climbs and descents with wide open views. After seeing absolutely nobody all day we came across a group of 8 sobo’s all within a quarter mile of each other(rare to see that many people hiking together). Among them was Salt Lick who I met in ’15 in the California desert, it’s got to the point where every time I see a hiker coming my way I wonder if we’ve already met. QB and I walked a few more miles into the sunset and down towards Deadman Lake where we set up for the night just out of reach of a thunderstorm in the distance. Just when I thought this trail couldn’t get any weirder, we come up on all these huge white cliffs

Day 104     8/11     29 miles

I thought I would be pretty sluggish today after another lousy night’s sleep but I got my mojo back right after climbing the steep trail to a pass from Deadman Lake. We then descended and followed the trail onto rolling plains for awhile. This afternoon thunderstorms moved in right before we had to climb up on to an exposed ridge so we found some shelter in a few pines and waited about a half hour. Perfect timing. The clouds moved through and the 3 or 4 miles up on the ridge went smoothly. We saw Moaglee and Little Spoon doing the same thing, chilling out and waiting for the storm to pass. Up on the ridge we had some pretty sweet views and saw a herd of pronghorn bolting past us(I thought these were the same thing as antelope but I guess there’s a difference). We dropped down from the ridge and everything was nice and peaceful for awhile and then out of nowhere we had this super cold rain for a couple hours. Whatever. It cleared up and we found a nice spot to camp in some pines by Morrison Lake. Howling The sky hazy from distant wildfiresAbout 15 super fast pronghorn

Day 105     8/12     25 miles 

Finally some rest. Slept like a rock last night. This morning we got up and just cruised all day. The trail was mostly rolling dirt road up high on an open ridge but there were some good climbs in there. We saw a little red fox jumping around in the grass either playing or looking for mice and stuff. When it saw us it took off into the woods. Too bad because the last time I saw a fox it came right up close to play, probably expecting a frisbee toss or something. Once the trail turned off the dirt road onto actual trail and started up towards Elk Mountain I saw what I thought was a black dog. It wasn’t, it was a little black bear cub following another cub but this one was cinnamon colored and both were following a cinnamon colored sow. At first I thought it was a black bear cub hanging out with his grizzly bear friends, but I’m pretty sure this doesn’t happen. After this cool little bear sighting we got up over 10,000 feet on Elk Mountain and then just cruised downhill about 12 miles to Bannock Pass. Sam, the owner of the 4 room Leadore Inn, drove up to the pass and brought us down into Leadore(population 105) for the night. To get here from Bannock Pass we drove down gravel rt 29, the last unpaved highway in the country, supposedly. In town we grabbed some burgers at the town restaurant and then hung out in yard at the inn with Moaglee, Little Spoon, Kibbs and Lux. To see more pictures of this trip feel free to follow my insta @endlesspsummerQB crushing miles

-Endless

PS All My Love!!!

Island Park, ID

Day 92     7/30     0 miles

Took a zero today in Dubois. We’ve got some logistical limitations coming up due to permits in Yellowstone so it made sense to spend another night in town. Plus I didn’t sleep well on the floor of the church hostel last night so I could really use a night in a bed. This morning QB and I went to breakfast then to the laundromat with 3 cyclists riding their bikes across the country. JJ, Luke, and Isabella filled us in on their adventure and it sounded really awesome. Bike touring and thru hiking seem to be very similar in many ways and also have some key differences. I’ve never done any long distance biking but definitely would like to get into it. After laundry we parted ways with them as they headed west towards Jackson and eventually to the Oregon Coast. QB and I ate some more food and then found a room at the Black Bear Inn. This place was cool, they give thru hikers a break on the price(the owner’s son recently paddled the entirety of the Mississippi River, so they’re familiar with our lifestyle) and also have a nightly campfire beside the Wind River where they  serve up all the fixings for s’mores. As I was sitting at the campfire two women came down, Deb and Cynthia, and I immediately recognized their familiar accents. These are my people. They’re from Ipswich, MA a half hour north of me and are out this way for a wedding and to explore the state. Since I’m from Lynn, Cynthia asked me if I knew her ski husband Lou(not her real husband just the guy she skis with). Yeah, I do know Lou, my parents are good friends with Lou and his actual wife Margie. Then I find out Cynthia knows both of my parents and has skied with them too since they’re all Sunday River regulars. Small world, but this stuff happens to me all the time. Some kind of mining operation in Dubois

Day 93     7/31     20 miles

After two really lousy nights of minimal sleep, I finally got some solid rest last night. This morning Queen B and I were making our way to Daytime Donuts for breakfast when we ran into Mac and then Appa, two guys who we met way down in the boot heel of New Mexico and haven’t seen since Silver City. It was fun catching up these two and were surprised to see them. While thru hiking you can get an idea of where people are if they’re ahead of you by seeing names in trail registers but it’s much harder to figure out what’s going on behind you. After eating a bunch of donuts we put our thumbs out and quickly got picked up by Andrew from Rhode Island, who’s taking a road trip cross country and checking out all kinds of national parks and cool places. He dropped us off at Togwotee Pass and at the same time Treeman was getting out of a car back on trail also. We haven’t seen this gigantic German since Ghost Ranch in northern New Mexico. Back on trail we hiked with him for awhile until he stopped to pick up a box at Brooks Lake Ranch and we carried on for a very pleasant 20 mile day. TreeMan a German giant at Brooks Lake Ranch

Day 94     8/1     30 miles

Shortly after breaking camp this morning we saw a mother moose with a baby in tow. I thought I saw another one a little later but turned out to be just a boring horse. It was a handful of horses actually with a couple of forest service workers at the Nawlin Cabin who were up there clearing trail. The trail today was pleasant and relaxing again with very few people on it. We heard about an awesome waterfall from a little kid on horseback(he wasn’t alone, out with his parents on a weeklong trip). The waterfall ended up being a great place to swim and eat lunch. Shortly after lunch we passed Two Ocean Creek and ‘the Parting of the Waters.’ This river flows right along the Divide and splits in half with one side emptying into the Pacific and the other to the Atlantic. I couldn’t decide which way to pee. Treeman leapfrogged us a handful of times today and this afternoon we saw him go the wrong way for the third or fourth time. This time he was too far ahead to get his attention and correct him so hopefully he realized his mistake sooner than later but we still haven’t seen him. Tonight we got just shy of the Yellowstone NP border and since we don’t have a permit to stay inside the park, have to camp here. Tomorrow the plan is to go 27 miles then hitch into Grant Village where we’ll stay at a pay campground before meeting with a ranger to get our permit situation taken care of. Moose! Boring horses 

Day 95     8/2     27 miles 

Today was quite pleasant. We immediately crossed the border into Yellowstone NP and this morning was rather crisp. Shortly after entering the park we had to cross the Snake River and it was SO COLD!! Plus it wasn’t an easy crossing, in order to avoid going up to our waists we had to walk diagonally through the river where the shallower parts were. My feet thawed after an hour or so and the rest of the morning we spent walking alongside the Snake River and then the Heart River. Treeman caught up to us after lunch and we walked together for a few miles while he told us about his misadventures walking the wrong way yesterday. Queen B and I stopped at Heart Lake to swim this afternoon and shortly afterwards ran into HoHo and Chicory who are hiking south. I’ve been on the same trails as these two for the last couple years but didn’t meet them until CDT Days in April this year. We’re starting to come across a fair amount of southbound hikers(sobos) and I would say they’ve got the right idea. If I was to hike this trail again I would probably hike south. After Heart Lake the trail turns right past a geyser field. All this geothermal activity doesn’t make much sense to me but it sure is cool to see. QB listened to a podcast about it once and told me how Yellowstone is an active super volcano and we’re walking right through the caldera.Crazy! We got to Grant Village this evening and since we didn’t have backcountry permits for tonight had to use the hiker walk in site at the campground here.the Snake RiverQB bathing in Heart Lake silly elk walked right into our campsite 

Day 96     8/3     24 miles 

I figured we wouldn’t have a problem getting permits to camp where we wanted for tonight so after breakfast we went into the ranger office to get that taken care of. Boy was I mistaken! We encountered a mean scary park ranger and she was not very accommodating for thru hikers. Now we had to figure out a way to hike through Yellowstone on our own terms without breaking any rules. So we hitchhiked north to Old Faithful Village and got a great ride from Tom and Kathleen, then walked south for 24 miles back to the Heart Lake trailhead where Colt and his family stuffed us into their car and brought us back to Grant Village. We ran into Mac and Appa at the restaurant and camped with them at the hiker walk in site. We were lucky the trail today was flat and easy because we didn’t get started until almost 11 and still had to walk a bunch of miles. There were barely any people in the backcountry and we came across an awesome geyser field just north of Shoshone Lake and had it all to ourselves. Tomorrow we’ll hitch again to OFV and rejoin the trail, hiking north and out of the park. Had a geyser field to ourselvesI crossed this river and it only went up to my ankles, QB decided to go her own wayShoshone Lake

Day 97     8/4     20 miles

This morning we broke camp and got two quick hitches back to where we got on trail yesterday but this time we’ll be heading north again. After about a mile we reached Old Faithful Village and saw the famous geyser erupt in the distance as we crossed the parking lot. We joined Bears, Flip Flop, and Tree Man at the buffet breakfast then went outside with the crowds to watch another Old Faithful eruption. QB and I did a minor resupply then checked out the museum in the lodge and watched a short film about geysers. When we left the lodge we were just in time for another eruption of the main attraction. 3 times in one day! I didn’t realize it until getting here but there is way cooler stuff besides O.F. here. Yellowstone is home to 2/3’s of the planet’s geysers(I learned this in the short film), and we walked along a bunch of them as well as these wicked cool looking hot springs. Check out my pictures below. The trail followed boardwalks around a lot these springs and geysers and after a few miles it cut left and we climbed up out of the caldera of the Yellowstone super volcano. Immediately after turning left we were alone. After seeing hundreds of people this morning at the village we saw a total of 6 others the rest of the day and that included 2 rangers on horseback. We stopped at Summit Lake for a swim this afternoon then walked through a wide open burn area before leaving Wyoming and crossing into Idaho. I loved Wyoming! The trail was diverse and incredible, the people were super friendly, and the towns unique and interesting. One of my favorite states I’ve ever walked through, I’ll be back for sure. The trail follows along the Idaho/Montana border for the next few hundred miles so I’ll be back and forth between these two states before leaving Idaho and heading the rest of the way to Canada through just Montana. We don’t have a permit for camping in Yellowstone tonight so after we crossed into Idaho we still had to go 3 more miles to get outside the Western Boundary of the park and that’s where we set up for the night. Old Faithful doing its thingwalked to Idaho, nbd 

Day 98     8/5     19 miles so far

We got up this morning and have just been walking all day getting into the small resort town of Island Park, ID shortly before 2. Today consisted of a lot of road walking and although it’s not the most exciting I’m ok with some flat easy miles. We’ve got a few chores to do while in town and I heard there’s a good Mexican restaurant but the plan is not to stay here and to just carry on a few more miles this evening. First Idaho Sunset 

For more pictures of this trip follow my insta @endlesspsummer

Until next time,

Endless

PS All My Love!!! 

Dubois, WY

Day 88     7/26     7 miles

After sleeping in this morning in the comfortable guesthouse at the 3 Peaks Ranch I enjoyed a substantial breakfast with some much needed fresh food. Cereal with milk and bananas for a change(instead of the off brand dry lucky charms that I’m always eating on trail) and fried eggs with cheese on bagels. Plus grapes, lots of fresh delicious grapes. We hung out for awhile with some of the Nols staff and then Nina took us into Pinedale to resupply. In Pinedale we got pizza and grilled Nina on all things Nols and she told us about her fascinating job as a cowgirl, super b.a. After pizza we grabbed milkshakes and then Nina dropped us off at the trailhead. Queen B and I hiked for a few hours on the Seneca Lake Trail that led back to the CDT. We found a sweet spot to camp near Hobbs Lake and enjoyed the sunset with a view of the mountains while we ate dinner. QB and Nina and a whole buttload of horsesSeneca Lake

Day 89     7/27     29 miles 

Today was awesome. Honestly it might have been the most scenic landscape I’ve ever walked through. I could try to describe it or you could just look through the some of the pictures below but the camera never does the scenery justice. I had heard the Winds would be pretty impressive and they definitely lived up to the hype. The beauty of the Wind River Range rivals anyplace I’ve ever walked through before. We passed Seneca Lake early this morning and then walked through a landscape of snowy jagged peaks in every direction and crossed countless icy cold rivers. Eventually we descended into a the Green River Valley and before we camped had awesome views of Square Top Mountain. Green river really is green! 

Day 90     7/28     30 miles

Today started off with a moose sighting. There was a great big bull moose eating grass or something right across the river from where we camped last night. We walked through the valley that contained Green River and the Green River Lakes for half a dozen miles this morning and views looking back were incredible. Square Top Mountain dominated the horizon above the snaking Green River that is literally bright green, there must be some minerals in it or something that give the water it’s unique color. After passing all this water the trail climbed steeply up to Gunsight Pass, this might have been our steepest climb in Wyoming to date. On the north side of the Pass we got a nice view of the Grand Tetons (I think) in the distance. The CDT doesn’t go through the Tetons but I’ll most definitely make it a point to come back and traverse that park some day. After lunch QB was leading the way and had a close encounter with another moose and then we both had close encounters with about a million mosquitoes. The forest we were walking through led to a huge open meadow and it was something of a mosquito hell. I put on long pants, my rain jacket, and head net and not only was I still managing to get bit now I was walking around in a sweat box. It was annoying. On a positive note we saw a massive bald eagle this afternoon and this was definitely a confirmed eagle sighting (usually if either of us see a large bird in the distance and don’t know what it is, it’s an eagle until proven otherwise. We’ve had many unconfirmed eagle sightings). After walking across some fields with views of the massive Tetons we found a pleasant place to camp for the night.tough to see in this picture but this was an awesome moose sighting, first thing we saw this morning.ol’ Square Topcrossing Clear Creek, coldest water everQB climbing up Gunsight Passand me at the topBlame it on the Tetons!

Day 91     7/29     29 miles

There was nothing all that remarkable about today except I’m pretty sure we saw a grizzly. Plus lots of birds of prey. The trail was rather tame all day following fields, snowmobile tracks and gravel roads. Shortly after lunch we were walking down a dirt road through a burn area when we saw grizzly bear running in the opposite direction about 50 yards away. Now I’m not 100% sure it was a grizzly but if it was a black bear it would have been the blondest black bear I’ve ever seen. This was a little alarming but it wasn’t a dangerous situation just a gentle reminder to continue to be aware. After a full day of hiking we got to Togwottee Pass and started to hitch towards Dubois. This is the first paved road the CDT passes in 180 miles. After a little while a couple in a pickup towing a boat pulled over. Walking up to the truck I recognized the voice of Joe Castiglione announcing a Red Sox game on the radio, I knew this was a good sign and the couple drove us all the way to town. St. Thomas’s church has a free hostel in Dubois for hikers and bikers, it was awesome. There were a few other hikers there that we hadn’t met yet and also 3 cyclists riding cross country. The hostel had a kitchen so QB and I whipped up some spaghetti with meat sauce since we both had been talking about pasta for about a week. Dubois is a cool little town and it was really nice of the church to let us crash there. We were walking towards a view of this thing all day, whatever it ismy favorite kind of hitch, the back of a pickup truck

Follow me on insta for more pictures @endlesspsummer 

-Endless

PS All My Love!!!

Boulder, WY

Day 83     7/21     3 miles

I’m glad we made it into South Pass City last night because the skies opened up again this morning. It was nice just laying in my tent waiting for the store to open rather than walk through the rain again. SPC was an old gold mining town that’s been continually inhabited since 1868. They have a little village there that’s either recreated or just hasn’t changed. The store in town accepts hiker packages and let us chill out inside sorting out our food while it hailed like crazy. The reenactors working in the little village said this weather is highly unusual. Cool! While talking with them I checked out the visitor center and read something about one of the original town members that shares my name a Mr. D.Carmody. Probably just a coincidence or maybe that’s why they were giving me free coffee. I’m pretty much royalty in this town.  Since there really isn’t any other hiker services here, we were originally planning to just pick up our food boxes and carry on but decided to go into the City of Lander for the day. From SPC the trail goes 3 more miles to highway 28 and we got a couple of good hitches to get us the 35 miles into Lander. The main reason we had to go into town was to pickup bear spray and rope to make a bear hang since we will be getting into grizzly country in the next section. (This was an oversight when we were sending food to South Pass City from Steamboat, had we realized we would have to go into town anyway we could have just shopped at the supermarket here.) No big deal, Lander is a cool town and taking time off to rest is important and enjoyable. We spent the day eating, showering and doing laundry. For short money we camped in a nice field behind a hotel. Drive-By, Thor, and Scrapbook had a room at the hotel and tonight we hung out with them for awhile in their room. These guys have been right near us for a few weeks. It seems like there’s nobody else on this trail so it’s fun to hang out with some other hikers when we get the chance.South Pass Citythis was on the wall in SPC, read close

Day 84     7/22     21 miles

Before hitching back to the trail this morning we filled up on McDonald’s breakfast(I know I’ve said this before but I’ll say it again; their breakfast is totally underrated). We got a couple of good quick hitches, first a couple that was going climbing let us cram into their already packed truck and brought us 20 miles, then a woman who just got off shift as a helicopter paramedic brought us the rest of the way. Once back on trail we walked about 3 more miles of the Basin before we were back into the forest and climbing towards the Wind River Mountains. It was nice to have trees around for shade and especially nice to have plenty of water sources. This will be my first time hiking through grizzly country and I guess I’m a little nervous about it. Most likely it’s just something that I’ll have to be aware of and I’ll get more comfortable with as I get used to it. I’m not sure exactly where grizzly territory begins but from here on out I’ll be assuming they are nearby and will try to hike and camp safely. QB and I usually stick together while walking so if we aren’t carrying on conversation I’ll just let out a ‘whoop whoop’ once in awhile to alert the bears to our presence. I almost always sleep with my food but while in grizzly country I’ll be hanging it from a tree and for a last defense I’m carrying bear spray. The worst part about hanging my food is I usually wake up and eat snacks so I’ll need to get out of that habit starting tonight. Back in the trees againand water

Day 85     7/23     24 miles

This morning we entered the Wind River Range and there’s a quite a spectacular alternate off the trail called the Cirque of the Towers. We planned on taking this route and followed a valley for 6 miles before reaching a lake and a steep pass with an unexpected super snowy traverse. The lake was still mostly frozen and it had to have been the coldest water I ever swam in. We ate lunch at the lake watching a few hikers attempt the pass and turn around. Queen B and I both mailed our ice axes and microspikes home weeks ago and didn’t anticipate getting into another situation with the snow. We didn’t have any information on the other passes of the alternate so decided to return the 6 miles to the official route and continue north on the CDT. It was disappointing to not see the Cirque of the Towers but I definitely plan on coming back. This alternate is part of the Wind River High Route and I’d love to hike that trail another time. The 12 miles of back and forth cost us half a day but the scenery was absolutely stunning and well worth it. Once back on the official route we walked for a couple more hours before setting up for the night.We just walked out of the desert yesterday 

Day 86     7/24     30 miles

The trail this morning wasn’t well traveled or well maintained. It wasn’t easy for about 10 miles going over and around lots of blowdowns and a handful of times we went the wrong way because intersections weren’t marked. All this slowed us down but eventually we passed a popular trailhead and the trail opened up. As we walked by lots of lakes we had huge views of some big time mountains. I met 4 girls who had road tripped from Massachusetts to hike out here and got my first, ‘Lynn, Lynn, City of Sin’ in awhile. Besides that snarky comment they were really nice and were only a couple degrees of separation from me since they knew people I knew. Shortly after meeting them we stopped for lunch and Queen B and I had a very refreshing swim in Dad’s Lake where we met another thru hiker, Jeremy. After lunch this afternoon went smoothly. There were a few river crossings that were deeper than normal(about thigh deep) and some awesome views of the Winds. We stopped for supper around 7 and then for the last hour walked into a wall of mosquitoes. This mosquito situation was as bad as any I’ve ever been in. Other than that, great day.

Day 87     7/25     27 miles

The plan for today was to walk 17 miles to a side trail, the Pole Creek Trail, then walk 10 more to a trailhead where hopefully we could hitch into Pinedale to resupply and spend the night. Immediately this morning the bugs were bad. I wore long pants and sleeves all day, even wore a head net until they subsided a little. The head net doubles as a clothes bag and triples as my pillow but this was the first time I put it on my head, forgot I even had it but it sure came in handy. Besides the bugs, today was incredible, some of the best scenery I’ve ever walked through. The Winds are filled with jagged granite peaks and lots of water. It was awesome. We walked over a few snowy passes and through some pretty deep river crossings(waist deep) before reaching the side trail. The Pole Creek Trail was pleasant and easy and mostly downhill. I know 1 person in Wyoming. So of course I run into her on horseback about halfway down this side trail. I met Nina in April of ’15 when we were both starting our thru hikes of the PCT. I knew she was living near Pinedale and had planned on getting in touch but I had no idea what she was doing up here. She’s working as a horse packer for Nols and her and Lila were bringing supplies up to the students in the Winds. The two of them plus five horses followed us down to the lot and they brought us back to the Nols 3 Peaks Ranch in Boulder for the night. A bed, a shower, laundry and a help yourself kitchen with tons of food. I mean this is absolutely incredible! To be fair there really isn’t that many people in Wyoming but the chances are still pretty slim. If these pictures don’t do it for you check out my insta for more pics if you want @endlesspsummerin full mosquito protection Hat PassOur host and Trail Angel Nina cooking breakfast at the 3Peaks Ranch 

Until next time, 

Endless 

PS All My Love!!!

South Pass City, WY

Day 79     7/17     9 miles

Enjoying some much needed sleep this morning, I didn’t get out of bed until close to 9:30. Just in time to put a good beating on the Days Inn continental breakfast. Then I returned to the room to continue sleeping until checkout. Queen B and I spent the bulk of the afternoon resupplying and relaxing inside an air conditioned McDonald’s with free wifi and a steady flow of double cheeseburgers and vanilla ice cream cones. Even though we sat out the heat of the day the temperature was still close to 90 when we got back on trail around 5. The trail cuts through the city of Rawlins and then follows rt 287 for a few miles before joining a dirt road out in the open range paralel to the highway. We ran into Buddy Backpacker and his parents Andrea and Dion who were hiking south for a section. I saw these 3 briefly last year in Colorado and we met Dion again way down in the boot heel of New Mexico a few months ago. We walked on, enjoying a nice sunset and found a place to camp as it was getting dark. People in Rawlins keep deer as petsstill living inside an REI commercial 

Day 80     7/18     40 miles. 

We knocked it out of the park today! The trail was flat, hot, dry and treeless all day. It was ideal for big miles. Early on we decided we would aim for 40 and were relentless in our pursuit. Honestly though it wasn’t all that difficult. The trail through the Great Basin is made for cruising. You have to go long distances in between water sources and since there’s no trees there’s no place to take breaks in the shade. Might as well just keep walking. There wasn’t any other people out here but we did see some wild horses and about a hundred antelope. I’m not sure if the horses are actually wild but I didn’t see any fences or cowboys and the hoof prints didn’t look like they were shoed (plus my friend Speed said that BLM has something like 10,000 horses). We walked through the sunset and as it began to get dark we hit 40 miles and called it a day.this all day long!QB going all Clark Griswold across the desert there’s antelope in this picture, there so fast and skittish it’s hard to get a good shot of themWalking into a beautiful Wyoming Sunset

Day 81     7/19     32 miles 

There really is no sense in taking our time through the Basin so we tried again for 40 today. The skies were mostly overcast all day and this provided some decent shade and was good for hiking. Yesterday the heat was borderline oppressive but today it was much cooler and rather comfortable. I saw more wild horses again and tons of antelope(those things are fast!). Around 30 miles in we came across an awesome water cache stocked by Hawkeye and stopped for supper. I was feeling really good after we ate and definitely had ten more in me but Mother Nature had other plans. About 20 minutes later, the clouds that were providing shade and keeping us cool all day suddenly got really dark and suddenly we were enveloped on all sides by thunderheads. There was lightning in every direction and it started to pour. The only move was to quickly find a lower lying area and quickly set up camp. This wasn’t a passing storm, there was heavy rain with thunder and lightning for about an hour, and then there was an incredible sunset and a faint rainbow visible from my tent. More of this today but with a few more trees here and thereWild Horses!! Run Faster!! Run Faster!!!it looks like this weather is starting to change on usthen it stormed like whoa! 

Day 82     7/20      36 miles

Today might as well have been two separate days, at least it felt that way. It was mostly blue skies, with a few clouds, a slight breeze and hot until about 6:30. We even came across the Sweetwater River and  jumped right in. So nice to cool off after a few hot days in the desert. We stopped to eat dinner around 6 and had some big time thunderheads looming directly in our path. There was another crazy electric storm just a few miles ahead of us and we were the highest points on a flat plain. Continuing forward was not an option. We could have either retreated backwards and found some lower ground to camp on but instead we audibled. Looking at the map we decided to cut West down to a river and then stick between a river and a road that went all the way to South Pass City(this isn’t really a city but more of a historical area along the lines of Plimoth Plantation or Sturbridge Village). We had resupply boxes waiting for us in SPC and this was our next destination. Taking this route we figured we could go along the edge of the T-Storm and avoid trouble. It was crazy! For the most part we stayed out of harm’s way but were right on the edge of a couple different storm systems and more than once had to stop and hunker down for a few minutes. We had to cross a river, crawl under a few fences, and were cutting across what was probably private property but it seemed to be the safest and only option. After a couple hours we were out ahead of the danger and were not only happy that we didn’t get struck by lightning but were also able to enjoy some incredible skies for the last hour into town. There was a remarkable double rainbow as well as bright orange, yellow, pink, purple and dark gray sky in all directions. This was a truly incredible experience, I’ve never seen such an intense sunset. Wyoming has the best sunsets! It was dark by the time we got into SPC and found a spot to set up. I’m relieved to be able to sleep in tomorrow since the store where I’m picking my package up doesn’t open until 9. 

-Endless 

PS All My Love!!!Walking towards Wind River Range in the distanceswam here in the Sweetwater Riverthe sky got so crazy!I swear there was a perfect full double rainbow but when it was visible my hands and phone were too wet to take a pictureescaping!Getting through the T-Storm safe and sound 

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Rawlins, WY

Day 76     7/14     6 miles 

Had a very nice time enjoying the comforts of town today. We hitched about twenty miles west to the town of Saratoga because of the better grocery store and this place ended up being a really cool little town. There was a restaurant right on the North Platte river serving Navajo burgers and then an old dairy with homemade ice cream nearby. Right behind the town pool is the free Saratoga Hot Springs better known as the Hobo Hot Springs. Probably because that’s where all the hoboes, travelers, and thru hikers hang out. Queen B fit right in, she did her laundry in the shower there in true hobo fashion. From the hot springs we walked over to the supermarket and resupplied for a couple days. Desi, the owner of Vacher’s Bighorn Lodge where we stayed last night, spotted us and gave us a ride back to Encampment. We met Judy at the visior’s center earlier and since she lived in a log cabin up near Battle Pass, she had offered us a ride back to the trail if we were back from Saratoga by 5. Perfect timing! We got back on trail this evening and walked a nice pleasant half a dozen miles crossing into Medicine Bow National Forest before calling it a day. Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!!!!!!!!Hobo Hot Springs

Day 77     7/15.    31 miles

Today was a bit difficult. At least for awhile it was lots of ups and downs and I think I encountered the most blowdowns(trees down in trail) that I’ve seen anywhere else on the CDT. It’s tough to navigate these blowdowns and each one requires a different maneuver. You have to climb over, under, or around them and they’ll slow you down. We ran into Spice this morning who we haven’t seen since right before we got off trail to go to Chicago. And we also saw trail angel Crazy Joe again who was car camping next to the trail and provided us with cold sodas. After about 18-20 miles the trail dropped out of Medicine Bow into the Great Basin. We’re back in the desert again. No trees, barely any water, relatively flat and wide open views forever. We joined a road and grabbed water at what will be our last good source for about 37 miles. Walking along the gravel road was easy but not extremely exciting. This guy Colt stopped and had ice cold sodas that he carries in his truck for people like us. So awesome! After about 12 miles we stopped on the side of the road, watched the sunset and set up to cowboy camp for the night, Wyoming is the Cowboy State after all. Oh yeah I saw my first coyote of the trip this evening(only my favorite animal) plus lots of deer and antelope. Dropping into the Great Basin

QB gearing up for some serious road walkingEverything the light touches is yours 
Day 78     7/16     26 miles

The wind was ferocious last night. I watched the stars for awhile and saw a handful of shooters but after awhile the wind made cowboy camping an impossibility. Sleeping in a tent wasn’t much better and it not until about 2:30 the wind died down and I could finally crash out for a few hours. In the desert sun, it’s imperative to walk during the early morning so I couldn’t even sleep in. There was about 26 miles of road between me and Rawlins this morning and I was tired, hot, and thirsty. Luckily about half a dozen cars stopped to give us water, and since there were very few cars on the road the percentage of cars that stopped was very high. I’m impressed with Wyoming and how nice the people are. Early on today I saw a dead rattlesnake on the road, not a good sign. Then later on I heard that the city of Rawlins is having a problem with rattlers and we even met a couple that was going out to hunt them, vigilante style. Queen B and I finally got into Rawlins after this long non stop road walk and each ate a whole pizza before napping out for an hour or so and then going out for Chinese food. On our walk from dinner to McDonald’s for ice cream we saw the most amazing sunset. For some reason it looked eerily apocalyptic. I thought there would definitely be a tornado or something. Rawlins is right on I-80 and is the epitome of an interstate town. I found that it felt very similar to Grants, NM. It’s not exactly charming and although it’s spread out it has everything that a hiker needs. I like the town and I definitely needed a comfortable place to sleep after last night’s winds. This view for miles and miles and mileslots of people stopped to give us water and the rattlesnake vigilantes even gave us bananasthe end of the world sunset