CDT Days 69-71: Rawlins

Day 69: 16 Miles

Despite the warm weather last night, we were surprised by a late night rain storm, and had to get up to close the vestibules and make sure everything was rain protected. We woke with the first light and the sound of cars beginning to pass by on the highway. It was a beautiful sunrise and we saw many pronghorns.

We continued to follow the road all the way into Rawlins. It was flat and easy walking, but hot with no shade or water. We made it into town around noon and checked into a hotel for two nights.

It’s just our luck tomorrow is the hottest day of the week with a high around 96, and we get to spend it in air conditioning. We got cleaned up and fed ourselves, and spent the afternoon relaxing in the hotel room, eating salad, drinking wine, and watching television.

Day 70: 0 Miles

Today was a day for chores and Thai buffet. We resupplied for the next stretch as well as getting some extra food to post ahead to ourselves at some smaller towns. We got a ride downtown to the post office and hit up the Thai buffet while we were there.

We saw a bunch of hikers we know in town, and met a few new people as well. We’re all in the same hotel of course, and we all went to the buffet. We had to walk the mile back to the hotel and it was hot! So glad we’re not hiking today. Our hotel has a bar, and we met up with another hiker for a few beers this evening. It almost felt like real life. Back to trail tomorrow, but we stayed up late so it won’t be early.

Day 71: 18 Miles

We took full advantage of the room this morning, staying pretty much until check-out time at 11:00. Then we stopped at McDonald’s before we finally decided to stop procrastinating and head out.

It’s still hot, but about 10 degrees cooler than yesterday. The terrain is flat and easy, but it’s a cross country route, with either no trail at all or a faint 4×4 track to follow. Still, it’s not difficult to hike at a decent pace. There is basically no shade to speak of until the clouds roll in in the afternoon and finally block out the sun. We did actually find a random patch of trees to take a break under and eat dinner while waiting out a little rain.

After dinner we continued on, with wind, intermittent rain and thunderstorms going off around us. We had great views of the lightning and it was fortunately pretty far away.

The weather wasn’t improving and we were headed toward the storm, so we found a flat spot in a depression to provide some slight wind shelter and set up for the night. I don’t think it’ll storm too much here, but hopefully the wind dies down.