CDT Day 46: 1 mile from Atlantic City + CDT Mile 1742.8 – 1747.4 (5.2 miles – km)

Saturday June 1, 2019

Staying at Wild Bill’s B&B was a refreshing taste of home comfort. We stayed in a beautiful cabin with a log fire burning all night. The cabin was part of the Miner’s Delight Inn which Wild Bill and his wife Carmela just recently purchased. We were the first guests to stay there since they became the new owners. Breakfast was delicious and even more so because of the great company. It was so warm and friendly, it washed away some the hardship of the hike through the Great Divide Basin.

We were now in a dilemma again about where to go next. From Atlantic City the CDT goes north through the Wind River Range, which like Colorado, is not passable due to heavy snow, risk of avalanches and steep icy traverses.

Wild Bill suggested we take the low route to the west of the range through Pinedale. However Union Pass further north is still closed so we may not be able to make it across to the east side of the range to get into Yellowstone NP. We had to go into Lander, on the east side of the range, to resupply. It was also an option just to continue north from Lander through Dubois to get to Yellowstone.

But first we went back on trail to get to the historic mining town of South Pass City.

We spent a couple of hours at South Pass City which is a perfectly preserved gold minining community from the late 1800’s.

We left the CDT at South Pass City and walked towards Highway 26 to try to hitch a ride for the 35 miles to Lander. Within minutes of climbing the hill out of South Pass City a small minibus stopped to pick us up. How amazing. It was a family group, a young couple and their 8 children. Such generosity especially since one of the children was a small baby. Nate and Michelle were from Rawlins and were touring for the weekend, enjoying the spring weather.

They dropped us off at Lander at lunchtime. Within minutes we were at Crux cafe, enjoying a fantastic coffee and lunch.

Lander is a beautiful town. I liked it straight away. We got accomodation and spent a few hours planning where to next. Since the CDT is not one trail but many alternates, we decided to make our own adventure and head north from Lander roughly following Highway 278 on secondary roads to Dubois. From there we would make our way to Yellowstone National Park.

With that settled we shopped for our resupply and went out to dinner. It was a beautiful balmy Saturday evening and the restaurants were buzzing with life.

We had dinner at another fantastic place, the Cowfish Brewery. It was simply delicious food and great craft beer. For a moment I thought we were transport to Portland in Oregon. Lander is such a beautiful small town.

We got a message from Shiloh who was with Sully and Nascar in Atlantic City. They were not sure about where to go next. We were all running out of safe to hike sections of the CDT on which to proceed.