CDT Day 37-40: Off trail

Thursday May 22 – Sunday May 26, 2019

After five days off trail we are getting a bit too comfortable with the warmer weather and zooming through the landscape. It is very tempting to consider a road trip to Canada along the Continental Divide.

THURSDAY in Santa Fe. It took hours of online searches to settle on the best option for us to get to Rawlins in Wyoming. I booked a one-way rental car to Laramie for tomorrow and then a Greyhound bus from Laramie to Rawlins on Saturday. We planned be back on trail by Sunday.

So with the transport north sorted, we really had one more chore and that was to find some warmer gloves for me. We went to REI but unfortunately they’ve put away most of their winter gear. It sure felt like summer in Santa Fe. I visited Santa Fe last year after the Chicago Marathon, so it was nice to revisit with Hammer for a quicky tour of the town.

FRIDAY morning I rang Hertz before the scheduled rental car pickup to ask if they offered a shuttle service. You can imagine my surprise when I was informed that they had no cars at all – in Santa Fe or Albuquerque – bad luck. “But I booked” I stammered in disbelief…”so sorry, our online system is not in sync with our on-ground stock” was the dispassionate reply.

Thank you for nothing Hertz – never again. We planned to leave in a couple of hours…..what do we do?

It’s Memorial Day Long weekend….lots of people are travelling. I rang around and Enterprise came to the rescue. I had a car booked and they were sending a shuttle to pick us up. Such a huge relief.

As a result it was well after 11am by the time we headed north to Laramie. It’s a 560 mile trip and our original plan was to get to Laramie today. With the delayed start we didn’t quite make it. We stopped for the night at a most beautiful town – Fort Collins in Northern Colorado. It was very intimidating to see the huge Colorado peaks to the west, all covered in snow. We so look forward to hiking in Colorado when summer returns to the mountains.

SATURDAY was a perfect morning…driving the last hour to Laramie. The sun was shining the landscape was a deep emerald green, the snow capped tops of the majestic Rocky Mountains to our left

Fort Collins looked like a most lovely town. Helps to have a University nearby to create a bit of diversity. I wished we were on a road trip and can spend a bit more time looking around. We stopped at the Little Bird Bakehouse to get coffee before heading out of town in the morning. What luck…it was sensational. Hammer had Monkey Bread and I had a delicious Hazelnut Financier and a cappuccino. The Monkey Bread tasted like a version of the Ocean Scroll from the Swallow Bakery in Bend, Oregon. Happy days…..the snow storm from earlier in the week was becoming a distant memory. May I always feel like I feel when I’m about to eat cake.

The landscape to Laramie was beautiful, especially the area around the Red Buttes. Antelope grazed along the roadside and did not appear at all skittish unlike the few we’d seen so far in New Mexico. The whole landscape really from Santa Fe northwards was stunning. To see the snowy peaks of Colorado to our west framed by the greenery of the lower elevations. We are excited to come back and hike in Colorado.

We arrived in Laramie with quite a few hours to spare before our transit on the Greyhound bus to Rawlins.

Laramie was another beautiful town. Made more so by me finding another great coffee. Better get back on trail soon, before we get too comfortable with being comfortable.

We got to the Greyhound bus stop hours hours before the scheduled departure. The bus stop is a little out of town an is at the long haul truckers interchange. We whiled away the hours sitting in a Wendy’s fast food burger place attached to a nearby service station. So not how we thought we’d be spending Day 39 on the CDT. Close to our departure time we found out that the bus had not left Denver and no one could tell us when and if it was coming. Oh happy days, not. A few hours went by and the bus just popped up on the tracker..yay. It was on it’s way.

We finally made it to Rawlins, 12 hours after leaving Fort Collins this morning. On the bus we met CDT hiker Shiloh. His itinerary was similar to our, except his bus got cancelled in Chayenne yesterday. We were all very happy to be here finally. As we arrived so late, it will be another day in Rawlins tomorrow to shop for resupply. It will also give us an opportunity to stay in phone contact with family back home as we just recently found out that Hammers Mum has been scheduled for a heart operation on Monday.

SUNDAY day 40 on the CDT. We were in Rawlins WY. As it was Memorial Day long weekend it was very quite in the old town. It was a beautiful sunshiney day. Resupply done, bags are packed and we are so ready to get back on trail tomorrow. A few days of rain are predicted over the next 120 miles to South Pass City.