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July 13th
2.5mi before Benton Spring(1525.1)-1mi after Weasel Spring(1558.6)
Campsite Elevation: 7,400ft
33.5mi
Today was really uneventful. I started hiking at 6:30am. We all had much needed excellent sleep and felt like we could have slept another hour there, but we had miles to make with an end goal of a burger and brownie in town tomorrow! An hour later I got to our first water source for the day. The sun was low enough to be on my back as it was just below the clouds. It was HOT and it was early morning. I drank a liter and a half at the source to camel up and prepare for a hot day. While I was there the rest of the group arrived…Bloodbath, Rampage, Estero, and even Mark who camped a little further back from us last night. Soon after leaving the source, we were happy to see that the clouds were moving in. It was overcast with a light breeze all day! We have totally lucked out in the Great Divide Basin. We felt the sun this morning for about an hour and at 6pm for about an hour and it was STRONG and HOT. We don’t even want to know what it would be like in the middle of the day! We just kept saying how happy we were to get the clouds these days through what is supposed to a very hot and exposed section.

It just makes the day so much more enjoyable. It’s already pretty boring with all the road walking, but we have been able to push more miles with the cooler weather because it doesn’t exhaust us like it would in the heat. Plus, we don’t have to carry nearly as much water so the hiking is that much more enjoyable. It’s just been great! Plus, we haven’t had any tick issues. Bloodbath saw some on his socks this morning when we had to go through overgrown grass to get to a spring, but that’s all so far. We were told this leg is known for being tick infested. We have one more day left tomorrow and we are hoping to get lucky again.

I hiked with Bloodbath and Rampage all day again. We didn’t see Estero and Mark again after the morning water source. The three of us are on the same schedule through Wyoming because we all planned to push through Wyoming as fast as we could. Bloodbath and Rampage would like to finish the trail around Sept 7th because they have a wedding to go to. I’d like to finish by the 9th because I just like that date and I’m ahead of schedule with a projected finish around Sept 5th at the moment. There is still over 1,000mi left, so a lot can happen. My brother and his family live in Montana, so I am pushing to buffer days to spend with them on trail somehow possibly multiple times. Hopefully, my brother will be doing a section with me too! I want to have the flexibility to take the time to share the trail with him and his family which includes his awesome wife and my two nephews. What would be ideal would be if the crew caught up while I did this and then we’d be able to finish the trail together. Again, lots can happen over the next two months, so this is a very rough projection. Just an explanation for why I’m doing such big mileage right now. The three of us, myself, Bloodbath, and Rampage have been great motivation for one another and it’s nice to be with others who have the same schedule.

There are many options for resupply on this upcoming section, but the main issue is that the next leg is the Wind River Range, which is said to be one of the most stunning legs of the whole hike and also a physically demanding leg. It is expected that it will take 7 days and 5 of those days should be in higher elevation around 10,000ft. Tomorrow, we briefly go into town to resupply, but there are three options. I chose the first option of Atlantic City, which is just 1.3mi off trail and gives the opportunity for a restaurant and burger. Bloodbath and Rampage sent their box just 5 more miles down trail to South Pass City because it was on trail, but they didn’t realize it meant no extra restaurant food or possible shower before a seven day leg. Tomorrow, our timing is such that Rampage will go to Atlantic City with me after 25mi of hiking to quickly get a burger (and brownie!) and possibly a shower. While we do this, Bloodbath will hike another 5mi to get to their resupply box on trail before the visitor center holding it closes. Then he will wait for us to camp with him as we will hike those five miles toward him after our stop in Atlantic City. We feel bad he’s missing out on food and a possible shower, so we hope to pack something out for him too. That’s the plan for tomorrow and we are going to get going early at 6am to get a good start. Mark and Estero have chosen the third option, which is a 30mi hitch into and actual town, Lander. We chose not to do this in order to save time by staying on trail and avoiding a difficult hitch. Here is our evening water source from a farm tank, which is basically a big puddle for cows, which you can’t see are right along the water. Yuck!

Tonight the air is really calm and perfect. We are camped just off trail inside some rock formations that popped up out of nowhere.

Bloodbath and Rampage even decided to cowboy camp(no tent) with how nice out it is. We hope it doesn’t randomly rain overnight. Rampage and I are really looking forward to that burger and brownie tomorrow!

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