Date- August 8
Location- Duboise, Wyoming
Elevation- 6,936 ft
Distance Traveled Today- 21.7 miles
Distance Traveled Total- 960.1 miles
Weather/Temp- cloudy, rain, 70s, 80s
Pain level- zero
Wildlife encounters- pronghorn
Days without shower- 0
Days without laundry- 4
I was hiking by 8 am and procuring some water by 8:15 when Jetpack caught up to me with her 5:30 am starts. The first thing I asked was, “How cold was it this morning?” Answer – “Freezing! Almost frost on the grass!”
Just as I suspected! I hopped out of the hammock this morning half naked and felt great! I would have never gotten up if I’d stayed in that valley. What a difference 500 feet in elevation can make – and not in the direction you’d think. Thank goodness for discipline and foresight.
My sights were set on an early arrival into Duboise today. I only had about 22 miles and 4,000+ feet of elevation gain to get there. A very moderate day. Still, the first half of it dragged and I didn’t have ten miles by noon. I think this was partly because I was listening to “Heart of Darkness” on audible (for the second time) in the past couple months. It’s about a 4 hour read, so I thought it would be a good morning listen to see if I’d missed anything the first time around. I highly recommend it. The book was the inspiration for the movie “Apocalypse Now,” and the audible narration is superb.
I turned up the heat after a 40 minute snack break and belted out slightly less than 15 miles in the next 4-plus hours – practically running up an 800 ft climb at the end, while obtaining an endorphin rush that left me pleasantly numb.
I saw no animals and only two other hikers I passed en-route. Of course, it rained a couple times throughout the day, but nothing worthy of taking the umbrella out.
When I arrived at the highway into Duboise, there was nobody else there. So, I began preparing myself for a long wait on the side of the road. Unbelievably, the second vehicle that drove by about 3 minutes after I got there pulled over.
It was a woman, and although I didn’t catch her name properly when she gave it to me – it was like we were best friends before I even got into her maroon van. She was middle aged and a “Traveling Glass Saleswoman.” She basically drives all over the state of Wyoming selling and talking about different types of glass products ranging from automobiles to buildings. I believe she mostly dealt with commercial businesses.
Anyways, she told me to hop in the van with the only condition that I was her “professional moose spotter” during the drive. She’d never seen a moose in the entirety of her life growing up in Wyoming and was convinced they didn’t exist. I happily agreed to this appointment, although I didn’t manage to spot anything except some pronghorn when we got further into the valley.
She dropped me off at a restaurant called the Cowboy Cafe ahead of a gnarly storm. After a delicious beef dip and some lounging around, Jetpack made it in and we split one of the last rooms in town with two north bounders that hitched in with her. Now we’re watching “Braveheart” in the room while it storms outside.
As nice as a zero would be tomorrow, the plan is to get out in the early afternoon and get some miles. We’ll see how that goes…
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