July 13: Day 25 (1872.4 – Dubois, Wyoming) 12.1 miles
After sleeping with my ankle taped, elevated and with the compression sock on, I awoke to no pain. Careful, slow walking was the day’s “first course”. But the slow walking allowed us to happen upon two bull moose feeding at a distance we were all comfortable with. We did our best to capture the sight with our phone.
As the trail continued through increasingly jumbled terrain, we took to calling the trail the “Elk Highway”.
It was trampled and pocked with recessed hoof prints in the boggy mud, and semi dried portions of the trail. It was like trying to roller skate on a dirt road. Frustrating.
Eventually the terrain opened up and we were back to the “Where’s Waldo” of CDT markers.
This year also debuted the new reroute of the CDT, which we took, now being totally devoted to staying on the “red line”.
Unfortunately, the rerouted trail has not been fully etched in the dirt. Trail crews, due to COVID-19, at the time we walked by had only completed 2 miles.
Orange tape and CDT trail signs tacked to trees mostly linked the new reroute together.
We we’re lucky enough to be the first ones to walk upon a newly completed bridge and two additional miles of perfectly groomed trail.
The trail crews from Idaho and Montana (didn’t quite understand that) were cutting trail from one end and working toward each other, to the middle of the, I believe, 5 mile section they were building. This meant the “middle” was mostly a bushwack. But, cut logs helped with trail discernment.
The newly built trail certainly helped reduce the time it took us to get to Hwy 26.
Once there we set about to hitching to Dubois. As luck would have it, we were able to Yogi a ride from Pastor Mike on a Bike ministries.
Actually Pastor Mike’s wife gave us the ride in their motorhome, while Pastor Mike rode his bike into Dubois.
We checked into The Black Bear Inn, and got their last available room. The owner, Liz, was so excited. We were her first CDT hikers. By the time we left Dubois, we weren’t the only ones in town.
Our first order of business, seeing as we had exhausted our food supply was food, and what else, but the elixir of thru-hikers.