Continental Divide Trail – Day 77

August 8, 2023
Miles Today/ Total: 18.5 / 1,324.7

I slept great last night. Everything was pretty wet when I woke up so I wiped my tent down once again as I packed up.

The trail stayed up on the ridge line and circled around Hog Park Reservoir which I had a great view of in the valley below. The trail was a shared ATV trail again today and had some pretty steep climbs.

Th he trail crossed a gravel road then entered the Hutson Park Wilderness. It was like a complete change in geography. The trail started up another mountain but this mountain had rock cliffs near the top. The top of the mountain was littered with large red granite boulders. The trail meandered through the boulders and made for an interesting hike as I navigated amongst them.

The trail dropped occasionally into marshy alpine meadows and I struggled to keep my feet dry (to no avail).

As I neared Battle Pass trail climbed back up into a pine forest and finished at a parking lot in HWY 70. I reached the highway about 3:00 and started trying to hitch into Encampment WY.

There was very little traffic on the highway and probably only had 6-7 vehicles pass in 30 minutes. While hitching another NOBO Thru hiker – Heavy – came walking up the road. He had been trying to hitch for about an hour and a half and hadn’t had any luck. We had just decided to start walking toward town when a pickup stopped and offered us a ride in the back under his camper shell. We jumped in the back and arrived in Encampment at about 3:55. The post office closed at 4:00 and we both rushed into the PO to pick up resupply boxes.

With our resupply boxes strapped to our packs we headed toward Lazy Acres RV park which was about 3/4 mile away. Storm clouds were moving in and we rushed trying to beat the storm. We reached the campground and got checked in and set up our tents just as it started raining.

I threw my gear inside, put on my rain jacket and Heavy and I headed to the Bear Trap across the street to get some dinner. The food was great and we washed it down with a couple of beers.

After dinner we went back to the campground and I took a shower, started my laundry, and plugged in my charging block. I tried updating my social media, but the campground Wi-Fi was not fast enough. I was able to book my airplane tickets to New Zealand for my next adventure starting in October – The Te Araroa – a 3000km long hiking trail stretching from the North to the South of New Zealand.

While heading to the shower another camper – Mario – has offered to give us a ride back to Battle Pass if n the morning. After I finished my laundry I stopped by his RV to tell him what time we wanted to head back and we spent about an hour talking about the trail, thru hiking, and his plans to hike the AT when he retires in a few years.

Getting late (after 9:00), I headed back to my tent to get some rest for tomorrow’s adventures.

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