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[at-l] Update: Flight of the Spirit Eagle



Well our hikers have made it to Atlantic City ....Atlantic City Wyoming 
that is!

If you noticed, their maildrop there was for the Atlantic City Mercantile.
Wouldn't the word Mercantile lead you to belive that this was a store
of some sort?  Nope..it's a bar.  And since the closest store is about
thirty miles away, and Jim and Ginny had counted on buying their
lunch stuff at the Mercantile, it looks like Ginny and "Slim Jim" are
gonna be hurting next week.  They tried to buy food from the bar,
but were refused.  They hope to talk to the owner this AM and try
again.  If no luck, they'll be eating snickers and jellybeans for lunch.

They had better luck at Big Sandy, where they were allowed to camp free
and buy their meals at the Lodge.  Meals were a bit pricey but AYCE
and fabulous.  Ginny spoke of the biscuits as being 90% butter and
10% air <g>/

We had another horrible connection.....I heard about one word in three.
I know she said they have been having a lot of trouble staying with
the trail.  Seems that there is some sort of regulation that minimizes
blazes or signs at junctions and since the CDT is such a patchwork of
jeep roads and snowmobile roads and true trails, it is easy to get lost.
Or as Ginny said, going round in circles lost.

Not so many horses now, but a lot of short term groups.  They ran into
some people who had been to the Gathering last year, and a women
who had visited with the guy who did the CDT slideshow and presentation
last year.  So it hasn't been too much of a lonely trail....just no other
thru hikers.

This section has been very dramatic with drastic changes everyday.
One day along a river with moose, the next day in near barren desertscape.
Even the desert holds surprises as they were befuddled on how to get
around a huge beaver pond....in almost desert!!!  The dam was made of the
small local willows and aspen.  As they climb from 8000 to 10000 feet and
back again, they slip through eco systems.  Even as they move from
the dry side of the mountain to the wetter side.  Ginny said sometimes it's
as sudden as going around a corner and poof...everything is different.

The Cirque of the Towers (a 3000ft stone 'tower') was just as dramatic as
they imagined but more crowded as they encountered three groups on
the trail there.

They have asked for the return of their mittens as they have had a morning
in the twenties with ice in their water...whatever happened to summer?

I know what happened to summer....it's all here in Pa and one of the side
effects was that their maildrops which are stored at may place suffered from
the heat.  The little baloneys that they packed have ....well..shall we say 
ripened.
Tough to haul a pound of meat for a couple days only to find it inedible and
you still have to haul it out and the smell makes you bear bait...

I am sorry I can't tell more this time but I really had a hard time hearing 
Ginny.
And if any of you have ever talked to soft spoken Jim on the phone, well..
you get the picture.

Oooops ....one more thing.  Imagine a day that starts out with a Moose for
company at breakfast, followed up with a couple elk and a herd of antelope!
And they have seen another bald eagle!!!!

That's it for today.  I expect to hear from them when they hit Rawlins in about
five or six days.  They had anticipated a week for this stretch, but the food
situation will force them to pack in the miles.  Top speed so far has been
a sustained 3mph ..........on a jeep road <B>

Messages include a big thanks to Earthworm and Navigator and hopes
that you get better soon John !!  And a big Hiya Sly!

If you wish to send cards, letters or goodies...

Rawlins, WY 82301  in about six days

Steamboat Springs, CO 80477 about a week after that

Grand Lake, CO 80447  about a week after that

Address anything to
General Delivery
(the town and zip code)

and include the phrase ' Please hold for CDT hikers Jim OR Ginny Owens'
Write early........write often!

BTW...it may surprise you to find that the three day postal rate is often only
pennies more than regular rate for small packages.


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