CDT Days 72-73: Running Through the Basin

Day 72: 40 Miles

This was our longest day yet on the CDT, and we matched our longest day on the PCT. We knew it would be a big day, because the terrain is pretty flat in the basin. What we didn’t plan on was the clay mud we were skipping and sliding in all morning, or the sandy roads this afternoon.

It was still pretty easy though. We could see the trail stretched in front of us for miles and miles on end. It made the day a little boring, because the view rarely changed, except for the intermittent cows, horses, and pronghorns.

We had a cloudy morning which was really nice, then the clouds burned off and it was a hot few hours until they rolled in again and dumped on us. It felt great.

After the trees we ate dinner under last night, there wasn’t a single tree until we got to camp tonight. 45 miles without so much as a shrub tall enough to provide a little shade. In fact the only shade we got all day was huddled under a fence in the late afternoon.

We actually made it to camp earlier than we planned tonight. It was a pretty good day.

Day 73: 35 Miles

We thought we were lucky enough to hike with intermittent trees and shade today, but we were wrong. After about 6 miles the trees disappeared and we spent the rest of the day without shade. Even the clouds were fewer today. Still, the sun is nothing compared to the deserts of the Southwest so we can’t complain.

Plus the terrain is still flat and easy. It would be a lie to say we got no shade at all, because we were surprised by a water cache that had an info sign which provided just enough shade for two people to sit under and have lunch, which is exactly what we did. The water was cool too. What a treat.

We have a package to pick up tomorrow in South Pass City, and we want to make it there before the store closes at 5:30, so we pushed out another pretty big day today to set ourselves up better. Tomorrow we’ve got 25 miles to get to our package, so we’ll definitely make it there in this terrain.

We got our first views to the Wind River Range, the mountains waiting for us at the end of this long flat basin. A couple days and we’ll be there.