Daily Miles: 20
Total Miles: 883
Although it was warm when we went to sleep, it was quite cold when we got up. We both only had our windshirts and mittens on when we left camp, but wished we had more layers as we started walking.
The trail was almost exclusively on a dirt road today. Definitely not the most exciting miles, but we know we have many more dirt road miles on this hike, so we try to keep a positive attitude about them. For example, today it was good for Beardoh’s ankle to walk on more even ground. See…not so hard to find the positive, even on a boring stretch of trail.
We had to walk about a half mile off trail today to find our first water source of the day. This area has been surprisingly dry, so we have been carrying more water than we have in a while. We are used to carrying just one liter in Colorado, but now we are carrying three liters, since we are going closer to 15 miles between water sources.
Our second source of the day, which came in the afternoon, was probably the worst water of the trail so far. It was a small, stagnant pool that was just a few inches deep. It was impossible to avoid getting dirt from the bottom of the pool, so we just let that settle to the bottom of our bottles. The water from this pool was horrible tasting, not even our very strongly flavored electrolyte packets could overcome the terrible taste….almost acidic.
Even though we were almost only on dirt roads today, we managed to get off trail twice. The first time seemed to be new trail that has been constructed – but has yet to be updated in the map set or GPS tracks. It didn’t match the track in our navigation app, but it was signed with new CDT emblems as the trail, so we took the new way. We went about a quarter mile before realizing that it was going to take us away from our morning water source. So, we backtracked and took the road instead.
Later in the afternoon, we almissed a turn for our trail, as we just continued walking down the road. We realized our mistake about a half mile later when we stopped for a break. Instead of backtracking, we just took an alternate route which brought us back to the trail. We did have to do a bit of bushwhacking to get back on track, but we probably didn’t lose too much time.
Tonight we are camped within a hundred feet of the northern boundary of Yellowstone National Park. We don’t have a permit to camp in the park, so tomorrow morning, we will get up earlier than normal and walk into Old Faithful Village where we are hoping to be able to secure a camping permit for tomorrow night. Hopefully everything will work out as we planned.