Heidenreich & Gass: CDT Thru-Hikers

Week 10: Wyoming Ho!

July 13, 2000—Day 80—Steamboat Springs, Colorado —Day eighty and we're about halfway through! Half the time it feels like it has/will fly by and the other half of the time it feels like an eternity of unknown before we may ever reach Canada.

From Garfield, it's been awhile. We've met three other thru-hikers—Daniel, who has boogied it up from New Mexico, and Ron and Rebecca, who we've been tracking since the Gila Cliff Dwellings. We also ran into the Stars, at long last. So it's become a real party out here.

We have also been blessed by the most amazing trail angels, who are themselves hiking the Colorado Trail. We met John, Susana, and their seven-year-old son, Cliff, on the trail and they offered us their home in Steamboat Springs. We learned after being in their house that they are quite the outdoorspeople and travelers who understand the business of being transient and appreciative of simple things.

We also celebrated Adrianne's birthday in the woods, wearing party hats and flower crowns, in a procession with elk and marmots. We took Ray Jardine's advice: Adrianne wore her sleeping bag like a royal train.

The land has gradually gotten much less rugged, and we often see stretches of flat desert country in the distance. This is in such contrast to the endless jagged peaks we traveled through in the south. It has gotten so hot since July hit that we have been glad for the stretches of mellow trail, although there are still steep climbs to make us think we will die of heat exhaustion.

The trail has also become much less defined since we left the Colorado Trail in Silverthorn. Just as it was before we met the Colorado Trail, on most days we see fewer people than elk. One day coming down from Parkview Mountain we startled a huge herd of elk that went racing up the grassy slope across from us, yelling and making quite a commotion. Their yelping is almost human and sounds so panic stricken that it almost makes your skin crawl.

The mosquitoes have come out in full force. They are quite amazing—living above treeline in a dry summer and still biting us as we walk!

We now approach our third state on the trip and wonder what new unexpected challenges Wyoming will hold for us.

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


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