Elevation- 8,002 ft
Distance Traveled Today- 6.3 miles
Distance Traveled Total- 996.2 miles
Weather/Temp- clear, 70s, 80s
Pain level- zero
Wildlife encounters- zero
Human Beings on trail- several
Thru hikers encountered on trail- zero
Days without shower- 1
Days without laundry- 1
Everyone was up and going about their errands a little after 8am; but not before Stomper invited us over to the church for some homemade Crepes with fresh raspberries. An excellent start to the morning indeed.
After that I started off my day with a trip to the hardware store for a polycro groundsheet. Secondly, I stopped by the local outfitter and procured some fly fishing gear. Next, I walked across town to the grocery store and bought some more snacks. Then I walked nearly a mile back across town to pack up and tidy up the room. Lastly, I walked halfway across town again to the post office to mail some things home…my hammock being one of them. This means I will be using a tarp, or cowbow camping from here on out unless I switch to something else. We’ll see.
Sonic decided she was going to stay in town and zero. She was talking about quitting the trail the other day, so I don’t know if that’s what she’s actually planning to do, or if she really just needs a break. She’s seemed pretty down and out the past couple days, and her friend “lavender” whom she began the trail with quit back in Darby. I hope she clears her head and makes the best decision she won’t regret.
So us 5 guys hit the road to hitchhike the 50 miles back to trail at around noon. We split up into groups of two and three to make it easier and less overwhelming to a potential ride. Stomper and Red Bass made one group, while Funny Bone, Puma, and myself formed the other.
After close to an hour, the three of us hitched a ride with a middle aged woman named Erica. Her SUV was already almost full, so the three of us barely fit. We waved and grinned sarcastically at Stomper and Red Bass as we passed them standing on the side of the road a few hundred yards further down than we were. The race was on.
Erica only took us about 8 miles down the road to the first junction towards Green River Lake. It was a great boost in the right direction. We began hitching again. Thirty minutes later, a white SUV turned onto our junction and a grinning/waving Stomper and Red Bass went by. Leap Frog. Their first ride was taking them further than our first ride. They were now winning the race back to trail.
After another half hour, an old man in a car pulled over, then flagged his buddy down who was in another SUV behind him. Puma and I rode in the SUV with the middle aged man named Mike, while Funny Bone ride with the old man in the car. They took us the rest of the way to the campground, but not before we passed Stomper and Red Bass standing on the side of the road where asphalt turned to gravel, about 20 miles before the campground. Leap Frog; we won. They arrived about half an hour later after catching a ride with two off duty forestry workers. This was the most fun hitchhiking I think I’ve ever had. They should have hitchhiking competitions/races across the country.
It was almost 4 pm by the time we were back on trail. Looming ahead of us was Square Top mountain, probably one of more impressive and dramatic views/settings I’ve ever seen. With each corner we rounded, we were treated to an even closer view with an ever changing, yet beautiful foreground. None of us could stop taking pictures.
Finally we had to call it an early day when we found a clearing on the side of the Green River with a perfect view of Square Top in the evening light. I went fishing before it got too late and managed to catch about a 12 inch trout. To top off the evening, I built a nice fire and cooked the trout for everyone to share. We stayed up past 10 pm enjoying the fire and watching the moon set over Square Top.
All in all, this was one of the most picturesque and perfect evenings I’ve had on trail in a very, very long time. All of the ingredients were present; gorgeous scenery, epic views, good company, fire, fishing, wild caught food, and intelligent conversation.
Now I’m cowboy camped under a small conifer with the silhouette of Square Top gazing over me, and a billion, billion stars gazing over it. Tomorrow we’ll take a side trail that’s infinitely more scenic than the CDT, but also infinitely more challenging…so “they” say. We’ll see what comes.