INTO RAWLINS

CDT Day 104: 0 miles/0 km

CDT SOBO Mile 1099.3

Monday July 29, 2019

Our desire to reach Dubois has fuelled us for the past few days coming out of Yellowstone, so our expectations were high when we got there. And if there is one lesson I keep learning on this hike is that it is best not to have expectations then there is no disappointment and everything will be a surprise. It is a shame that we got to Dubois on a Sunday. At least Blue Coyote coffee did not disappoint and all was well in my world this morning. On the way to the coffee shop early in this morning, the sky looked apocalyptic. It looked like it may rain.

We waited for the post office to open to pick up a few packages and to post our resupply to Encampment. My sleeping mat has developed a small hole which I’ve been unable to find. The mat deflated through the night and my hips were touching the ground. Not a big problem when its warm but in the cold it was not so nice. Thermarest in Seattle sent me a replacement mat while they repaired mine. How excellent is that service?

With that completed it was time to get on our way to Rawlins. We checked out of the motel, wished Nascar (John) all the best and promised to stay in touch. He has been in Dubois since he hiked in a day after us, on our way northbound almost 6 weeks ago.

Rawlins is 200 miles from Dubois. We walked out to the road junction and put up a sign to hitch. It’s something I still find hard to do but Hammer is so sure, just be patient – all it takes is one car to stop. And so it was this morning, a lovely couple Ian and Tory doubled back after passing us and offered us a ride all the way to Rawlins. How lucky and grateful were we to meet these beautiful people. They were driving from Jackson, where they live, to Chayenne for Ian to sit the Wyoming State Bar exam. Tory, who works as a clinical psychologist in the education system and in private practice, has flexibility with work so was able to take the time to support Ian.

Connecting with people, on and off the trail, is one of the best things about long distance hiking. It’s something we all crave but find so hard to do in our normal lives. In the 3 hours it took to get to Rawlins, while passing the incredibly stark and beautiful landscape, we learnt a little about life in Jackson and their ever so romantic meeting in Florence, Italy.

The time seemed to fly and I hope we provided some distraction for Ian so that tomorrows exams were briefly pushed to the periphery. They dropped us off at the motel and on leaving Ian gave us a package of their delicious home made elk jerky. We are feeling truly blessed.

We checked in and even better a room was available straight away so we could leave our bags and do the resupply shopping for Colorado. We have about 850 miles left to hike between Rawlins and Chama in New Mexico, where we bailed out in a blizzard, nearly 2 months ago. This is our last leg and we are excited to finally reach Colorado.