CDT Day 102: 25.5 miles/41 km

CDT SOBO Mile 1065.5 – 1091.0

Saturday July 27, 2019

An overcast, very still and silent morning greeted us. It was an unusually late start as we both slept in.

Most of the morning we hiked along the North Buffalo Fork River valley. The trail was well trodden and dusty with lots of horse droppings. It was more of a horse trail then a hiking trail. I dreaded getting my feet wet and then hiking in this powdery dust. Happy we didn’t have to do that for some time. Although creek crossings were frequent, we could rock hop on most of them. The river was beautiful, snaking silently through the valley floor. We passed 3 north bound hikers. It was encouraging that conversation about the extent of snow cover going forward was now replaced by “How bad are the mosquitos going forward?”

I was nervously anticipating the crossing of the North Buffalo Fork, which by some reports was difficult as it was deep and the river was fast flowing. But like most things on trail, reports of conditions are very subjective. The crossing was knee deep and while flowing swiftly was not a big problem. It was wet shoes and feet from here on in for me. Hammer crossed on a flexing and tilted log and made it across slowly.

We followed Soda Creek up the valley though a burnt forest area for some time. The wildflowers were quite spectacular and got even more wild as we headed towards the South Buffalo Fork. The crossing of this branch of the river was relatively easy as it was wide and shallow.

From here the landscape became a lot more interesting. After we climbed out of the South Buffalo Fork valley an incredible towering mountain vista opened up in front of us. The sun was beginning to dip behind some of the mountains, illuminating others. We stopped to camp right by Cub Creek which we’ll have to cross in the morning. My feet are pickled from being in wet shoes most of the day. And Hammer has got some friction spots on his toes. The sky was blue when we turned in for the day. We passed ten northbound hikers today. The northbound bubble has well truly started.

Just as we were settling down to sleep a lightening thunderstorm with strong winds and heavy rain arrived out of nowhere. The wind buffeted the tent bending the poles, but Big Agnes held firm. Lightening illuminated the inside. This trail has been full of surprises. We are both happy to be heading to Dubois tomorrow.