Dyer and Riches: CDT Thru-Hikers

Great Divide Basin

July 26, 2000—Day 86, 1491 Miles—Atlantic City, Wyoming— We skirted the eastern side of the Great Divide Basin where we knew there would be reliable water. The wild horses and pronghorn antelope knew where the water was, too, and they got to all the springs first. Still, Kool-Aid and a heavy dose of sugar can make even the brownest water palatable.

I was keen to catch a glimpse of a rattlesnake, but again, despite local warnings that we would be literally tripping over them, they remained unseen. We did see plenty of sage grouse, though, flushing them from their hiding places every mile or so.

Fifty miles north of Rawlins we left the official route and headed north to intersect the Oregon Trail, the famed wagon route west for thousands of migrants. A path through the Rockies is a rare commodity, it seems, and the trail has also served the Pony Express, Mormon pioneers and California goldseekers. The smooth trail made for rapid walking, and we covered 40 miles in a single day.

After a dry second day following those wagon ruts, we were saved from dehydration by a group of evangelical Mormons who also provided us with some theological discussion, the Book of Mormon, and some tasty ham and cheese sandwiches.

We knew Atlantic City was small, so we mailed a box of provisions ahead to the post office. The trouble was, Atlantic City is so small it doesn't even have a post office! But the nice postal service folks in Lander shuttled our boxes to us in a couple of hours.

Simon and Darryl's reflections on New Mexico.


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