Dyer and Riches: CDT Thru-Hikers

Leadore, Idaho

August 17, 2000—Day 109, 1924 Miles—Leadore, Idaho— We have conned Daniel, a.k.a. The Cormorant of Graceland Hiking Club fame, to be our ghost writer for this section's update. So take it away boy.

Ah yes, the spirit of America rings true with this update. Enough lies from these foreigners. Bannack Pass and Bannock Pass; the difference is subtle when spelling, yet extreme when waiting in vain at one while your ride to town frequents the other expecting three shining figures to pop up over the nearest ridge at any moment. The 18-hour wait with no food and little water was less subtle indeed, as was the 10-mile calorie-free wobble down to the nearest ranch for help. Suffice it to say that the reason for these shenanigans lies not with these three veteran hikers, but with a well-intentioned friend.

But alas, with a chocolate cake of Canadian proportions in hand (compliments of a lovely lass named Arin), this friend quickly won us over with caloric delights of many a flavor and tales of acute dyslexia.

Ah, but what of the trail? After climbing out of Macks Inn and barely missing three wolverines frollicing on a snow patch, we spent the afternoon walking cross-country, filling our souls with Idaho wilderness and our socks with burrs and serrated grass seeds. The next morning was spent bushwacking after we followed a well defined but erroneous trail. Things got better after we dragged our bloodied carcasses onto actual trail tread and, with whoops and yahoos aplenty, limped around Taylor Mountain to a fine Divide campsite.

After close brushes with death from vicious sheep-herding dogs, their Peruvian master, and overconsumption of Pop Tarts, we walked many glorious miles through tawny ridge-top meadows and cow-infested rangelands.

Which brings us to the Bannack/Bannock Pass incident. Luckily, our 10-mile stumble landed us at a local ranch managed by the phenomenal Dale. After porch-side sodas and cowboy-sized sandwiches we gathered the strength to contact our friend (who shall remain nameless for security purposes) and spent our time waiting for the rendezvous touring the ranch, sucking sodas, and showering in the guest suite.

So after one day spent fattening up with gourmet piles of food skillfully prepared by our friend, we awoke to the pleasant smell of a morning campfire. Uh, actually it was the state of Montana that was burning, not anything that we've ignited. So with lungs of steel and skin of asbestos, we will amble on the Divide as far as Wisdom, north of which our humble little trail is being burned to a crisp. Pavement awaits us from there till Anaconda (which means more interactions with people and a more amusing update for sure).

Well, if anyone reading this update happens to have a few spare pairs of rollerblades or respirators, we are accepting donations.

The Graceland Hiking Club

Simon and Darryl's reflections on New Mexico.


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