Dyer and Riches: CDT Thru-Hikers

The Wind Rivers

August 3, 2000—Day 93, 1669 Miles—Togwotee Lodge, Wyoming— After hiking 4 miles to the historic town of South Pass City on our rest day we were once again reunited with Team USA (Adrianne, Sarah, and Daniel minus Mr. Ed). Quite fortunate because we were unable to secure any stove fuel in Atlantic City or South Pass. The girls had plenty so we allowed them the privilege hiking with us again in return for their fuel.

This stretch of 178 miles in 7 days proved to be hungry times for Team Commonwealth. When loading up our packs we lapsed on the calorie counting and found, a couple of days later, that we were desperately short of tucker. We had about 100 miles to go but only 3000 calories a day each of food (we generally need 5000+). That's when we decided it was time to make a run for it. We recruited Daniel onto the Commonwealth Team (because he had stove fuel and some extra food!) and parted ways with the lasses. They were saddened by our departure I'm sure, mostly because they'd given us their gorp rations and the section turned out to be longer and tougher than we had expected. We're now worried that a couple of hungry, angry young ladies will appear from the woods looking for their gorp.

The Wind Rivers, we were warned by a local in the pub in Atlantic City, is a very spiritual place inhabited by"Little People". I can certainly see why its considered a spiritual place. We consider it the highlight of the hike thus far. The mountains are much steeper and rockier than anything we've seen. Lakes are abundant even above treeline. Simply an amazing place that can't really be described in words. Go there! And if you do we highly recommend, if you're coming from the south, taking a route from Little Sandy Lake to Big Sandy Lake (no well-marked trail but impossible to get lost) up and into the Cirque of the Towers via Jackass Pass and out via Texas Pass before making your way to the Old Highline Trail.

Things are about to get more interesting on the wildlife front. We've just entered grizzly bear territory, and our next section includes Yellowstone National Park, where the grizzlies are supposed to be as thick as flies. To be honest, I'm worried. Not of being mauled to death by a bear, but being pepper sprayed to death by my pepper-packing, trigger-happy Pommie partner. I don't think I'll be going for any midnight nature calls this week for fear of being mistaken for a bear upon my return to the tent.

Simon and Darryl's reflections on New Mexico.


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