Day 95 miles hiked 0

Day 96 CDT mile 1510.7, Miles hiked 11.4

NOLS HQ in Lander

Our zero-day in Lander was a real treat and a wonderful surprise.  The town of Lander has a wonderful Main Street with historic buildings and a good vibe about the town.  Having only one day to tackle town chores I made sure to maximize my time by going on my own.

I woke at 7 am and headed for breakfast next door at the Oxbow Restaurant where I inhaled two pork chops, two eggs, hash browns and a pancake for good measure, I love being able to eat what I want, need to keep that in check when I get home.

I walked into the post office as they opened and retrieved my boxes, went back to the hotel, sorted my food and items, made a list and hit the town to complete my task.  First I went to the outfitter with Cheezy where we picked up our bear spray, her ursack (which is a Kevlar bag you put your food in and tie to a tree in bear country), some Wind River maps and some other items.

History in the town

From there Cheezy went back to the hotel and I headed to do our laundry.  While clothes washed I ran to ACE hardware and had some pipe cut to extend the length of my hiking poles for my tent.  By noon I was done my chores and enjoyed some chicken wings, a burger, and beer.

The rest of my day was spent working on my blog, catching up on emails, and washing my pack and other items before entering grizzly country.  We also spent a couple hours getting informed about the forest fire that has the trail closed at the north end of the trail and potentially cutting off our way to Dubois in a week.  A call to Teresa at CDTC and some help from Laura at the outfitter had us in good shape with an alternate route.

mmmm cowfish

We went downtown for what was one of the top meals on this trip, Cowfish Restaurant, and Lander Brewing.  We enjoyed good beers, calamari and I indulged and had a 14oz ribeye, one thing about the CDT I have had some remarkable steaks along the way.  We wrapped up dinner with some cheesecake and then turned in for the night.
Today was a bit of a hurry up and wait, after getting up and calling home I had a McDonald’s breakfast and then went back and sorted my pack and got ready to go.  At 10 am the others showed up to do the same as they were packing I made one last trip to town to see if  I could get the others odor proof sacks to line their bear bags.  The folks at NOLS couldn’t help me but their headquarters was cool and the folks friendly.

When I returned to our cabin/hotel Soju was there.  He is from Korea and super great dude, we got him into the shower to wash up and do some “laundry” then we all went to McDonald’s to use their wifi and get ready to leave town.

Now I must note we stayed at a very interesting place in Lander, the Holiday Motel which is a 1950’s hotel that has been resided with logs to look rustic.  They had a decent cabin for $70 a night it had a queen bed and two sets of bunk beds but it was hot and the AC was inadequate. While in Lander it was 98 degrees and our little cabin was like a sauna.

Ok, so it was time to leave and get back to the trail.  My hiking partners are impatient when it comes to hitching, and if we don’t get a ride in ten minutes they are frustrated, I figure who the hell would pick up someone looking like me, so every time I get a ride I’m stoked because it’s a bonus.  We waited 20 minutes and then a guy going the other way said,”where you need to go?”  His name was Roger and he is a semi-retired teacher who lives in Lander.  What a great guy he drove two miles through town to get gas then drove us 28 miles back to the trail even though he had no reason to go all the way up there.   When we arrived at the trailhead Freebird was there so Roger loaded him up to go to town.  Even in Wyoming, I am blown away by the kindness of random strangers.
We hit the trail made some miles and at 8 pm made camp at the edge of the woods by some ponds.  Maverick and Buttercup fished while I cooked and we all turned in early for the night.

Buttercup leading the way through high desert on our way into the Winds