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- Date: Fri, 04 Jun 1999 11:49:44 PDT
Hello to everybody from Richland, WA!!
Had an interesting walk along the newly-designated, offical CDT route along
the east and north sides of the Great Divide Basin, from Rawlins, WY to
South Pass City, WY. Saw almost zero people out there in 4 days, lots of
antelope everywhere, praire dogs, elk, grouse, meadowlarks, very few trees
(had one delightful camp in a grove of pine trees that effectively blocked
the blasting winds and looked like an elk bedding spot), a few ticks at
Upper Mormon Spring. There was water available in all the places listed by
the BLM, and more. The route is due to be marked this summer; with careful
attention to map and compass, and keeping track of where I had been and
estimating travel distance, I was able to find my way through the maze of
roads (paths?) out there, without too much hunting around. Got hailed on
and snowed on twice during the third day, along the high ridges, where the
views were expansive. The south side of the upcoming Wind River Range was
solid snow from the peaks clear down into the trees.
Returned home Wed afternoon as a result of fortuidous circumstances that
were telling me to get home and wait for some snow to melt. At 2:45 pm on
Tuesday a road grader picked me up in the Great Divide Basin and gave me a
ride the last 5 miles into Atlantic City, WY; the operator told me which
road to take to best catch a ride to South Pass City (to pick up my
maildrops) and also said that Rock Springs was actually closer than Shoshoni
for catching a bus to either CO or home. Two minutes up the road a fellow
picked me up who was going to So. Pass City and then on to ROCK SPRINGS!!
After visiting So. Pass City, he drove me to Rock Springs and the Greyhound
terminal there, where, lo and behold, there sat the one bus a day that goes
west toward home - decision made, GO HOME. At 2:30 pm Wednesday, less than
24 hours from walking in the G.D. Basin, I was home. What an unbelievably
sequenced set of circumstances.
Right now my plan is to be home about 2 weeks or so, hitting the trail again
when the snow levels decrease enough somewhere so that one can hike
continuously without a lot of snow to plunge through. I would appreciate
any solid suggestions from anyone who knows the actual snow conditions on
the remainder of the CDT (I've done NM and Steamboat Springs to So. Pass
City). For those of you hiking out there, here is what I know. Ray Hanson
of the BLM Lander, WY office said that the Wind River Range has record
snowfall. Carl Begeal tells me that CO has snow above ~10,500 feet,
everywhere, with pretty much solid snow above 11,000 feet and on north and
east facing slopes; less snow down south. Carl feels that travel without
snowshoes would be reasonable by the 3rd or 4th week of June. Jim and Ginny
Owens are travelling north from Anaconda, MT, starting May 30; any
intelligence from them via e-mail would be useful.
In the meantime, it's good to be home for a while. Lots to do. Bought a
ruler and tiny calculator that will be used to accurately estimate GPS
navigatior coordinates (in degrees and minutes) from maps, or vice versa.
Slightly modifying some equipment. Doing a little housework. Giving
Junior, the cat, the attention he deserves..... What the heck: I should be
doing what I want, when I want; I'm retired! May have to leave part of the
CDT for some other year.
Hope everyone is well and enjoying life. Keep in touch,
bilgy (bil'je) adj. looking or smelling like bilge water([slang] worthless
or silly talk or writing; nonsense)
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