Heidenreich & Gass: CDT Thru-Hikers

Week 11: Hail! Hail! The Gang's All Here

July 23, 2000—Day 90—Rawlins, Wyoming —We've gone about 130 miles from Steamboat Springs to Rawlins, Wyoming—our third state on the trip! This past stretch has been a giant social event—six of us hiking together, which is quite possibly the largest group of CDT thru-hikers hiking together we've witnessed.

We've had our friend Ed along for the ride since Steamboat, and although we tried to convince him to stay on the trail with us, he has returned to the low-calorie life in the Adirondacks. We've also been walking with Daniel, member of the infamous civic group known as the Graceland Hiking Club and also winner of just about every eating competition we've held thus far. Simon and Darryl, powered by an array of Kool-Aid sugar drinks and Little Debbies, have graced us with their presence and have provided an excellent selection of road-walking music.

This stretch began in gorgeous boulder-strewn alpine meadows and was a final taste of the Colorado high country. We also used Deet for the first time on the trip to try warding off the droves of mosquitoes, not to mention the biting flies. We then proceeded into a section of the Mount Zirkel Wilderness in the Routt National Forest that was severely damaged in 1997 by a microburst that caused a giant blowdown. It was pretty wild to walk through sections of land where almost all the trees had been knocked over and were all gray, piled up four high on top of each other.

Once we hit Wyoming it was amazing how things began to change. The forest was replaced with sagebrush and grass, and water has once again become a scarce part of our world. Hitchhiking has also become as easy as pie, and pickup trucks are once again stopping mid-day to offer us Budweisers. Ahh, the life.

Read Adrianne's account of how it feels to be green in the Wild West.

Published: 30 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 15 Sep 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication


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