July 19: 1930.1 – 1944.9 (14.8 + .2 to campsite 8C5 = 15miles)
On the trail by 0730, we were walking our still wet shoes and socks dry. It didn’t really matter, as within the first hour we had 4-5 creek/river crossings, complete with muddy approaches.
Our highlight of the day was to be breaching the border of Yellowstone. When we reached the “demarcation line”, we saw a small 5″X12″ metal engraved sign,
It was a little anticlimactic, to say the least. Now the push was to get to our campsite. We were kind of excited about that. A flat place already prepared for us, by the Snake River, and a readymade bear pole to hang our food bags and “smellables”. What more could we ask for?
We went through varied terrain. Mostly good trail, but it had its boggy parts.
Mostly today was filled with PUDS (Pointless Ups and Downs) paralleling the *Snake River.
*The Snake River is fed by Pacific Creek of North Two Ocean Creek origin (yesterday’s post). The Snake River eventually flows into the Columbia River and to the Pacific Ocean.
We had half our mileage before 1130. But, before that, as we were traversing through a forested area, we came upon a hastily shat steaming fresh pile of bear shit.
This was a “fresh” reminder that we ARE in bear country! With that I pressed “play” on my Spotify app, and we “rocked” our way to lunch.
Two people on horseback passed us from the opposite direction, out for an 8 day campout. We thought we packed a lot of stuff!
We crossed the Snake river (again) and began to traverse the eastern slope.
The trail took us high above the river, but still parallel. A fire had obviously ravaged this area.
Dead trees like porcupine quills adorned the hills on both sides of the river.
Swaths of seemingly endless wild flowers painted a canopy of color that made the PUDS more palatable.
Flowered trail turned to wooded, then into a meadow of tall grass before we reached our turn-off to our campsite, 2/10ths of a mile off the CDT.
We reached the sign designating our assigned campsite (8C5) and were immediately dismayed. This was nothing like we imagined. It was lumpy and filled with horse crap. Urgh! After dropping our packs and pouting a bit, we decided to explore a bit more. We followed the trail to the bear pole, and discovered several places we could set up our tent, and still have some room between us and our hanging food.
Today was not what we had envisioned entering Yellowstone. We hadn’t realized that the beginnings of the Snake River originated here, and for some reason we pictured Yellowstone as being flat. All’s we could figure is that our “expectations” were built on years of watching the cartoon with Yogi and Boo-Boo, and our visit in 2012 to West Yellowstone.
Dogged by mosquitos, we ate early and went to bed hours before the sun set. The sounds of geese, chipmunks and the constant buzzing of the damn mosquitos coaxed us to sleep.