Everything was covered in frost when I woke up. Brrrrr.
Scatman and I packed up and started hiking, getting warm was a priority, and for one of the first times on the trail I started hiking in my down jacket. Is fall coming already???
We soon met some thru-hikers…Beads and Kramers were coming down the hill right after (oooo, forgetting his name) and we had to stop for something like half an hour and fill each other in on our respective hikes. I hadn’t seen Kramers since soaking in the Gila Hotsprings, and this was the first time I was meeting Beads, but Scatman had met her before. It was hard to say goodbye, but eventually we started hiking again, only to run into 2 more hikers right behind them…I guess we found the herd!
The big excitement of the day was getting to 2 Oceans Pass where there was the parting of the river. Yep, half of the river flows over 3,000 miles to the Atlantic, the other half over 1,000 miles to the Pacific. Very cool. I filled my water from the Pacific side (hey, it’s my side of the country) and we prepared ourself for the last big climb for a while.
Huffing and puffing the 2,000′ up to the top of the ridge was a sweaty affair, but so worth it on the top when we were awarded a view back to the Winds, over to the Tetons, and ahead to Yellowstone. We’d reach Yellowstone today!
I convinced Scatman to try napping over a long lunch (at only 23 miles to hike today we could relish some long breaks) and I enjoyed a bit of service on my phone as I lay in a field of flowers. Ahhh, this is how I like to hike.
The afternoon went down, down, down into some meadows and the trail showed lots of traces of bear…big ‘ol piles of scat littered the tread, but our talking was successful at keeping them away. I’ll happily make lots of noise so I don’t have to confront a grizz.
Late afternoon we got to the Yellowstone border! We saw some folks at the ranger station, so walked over there to check it out. A park trail crew had just arrived and were unloading their pack donkeys into the cabin. We chatted with them for a while, then I said goodbye to Scatman who had a permit for a camp a few miles into the park. I backtracked a bit so I was outside the border and found a spot in the woods. I wasn’t too far from where the donkeys were put out to pasture, which was a good thing because they had bear bells on and I figured the bells would help keep any bears away during the night.
I cowboy camped for the first time in a long time…since I was sleeping thick in the trees I figured the frost wouldn’t be too bad.
A bit ‘o reading, and then my eyes became very heavy…