Day 100: Dubois, WY and Togwotee Pass to slope above Cub Creek, ~12 miles, ~1,712 miles total
There are all sorts of milestones by which one notes progress on a long distance hike. First 100 miles (or km). First 1,000 miles (or km). 100 days. States crossed. Number of shoes worn out. Etc.
When we reached Rawlins, WY we’d made it halfway into our planned CDR route. But the significant milestone I was looking to reach was Dubois, WY. Getting to Togwotee Pass and then hiking north from there symbolizes that we are hiking above the fold in our CDT bandanna.
When I ordered our CDT planning guides a few years ago, I opted to add this bandanna to our order. It notes the major resupply points and approximate mileage for the corresponding towns. It comes in handy as a piece of gear and as a quick reference when we are trying to determine towns and miles ahead.
By reaching Dubois and then returning to the trail we are now hiking above the fold. That much closer to home. Soon enough we’ll cross the Divide and waters flowing to the Pacific will do so via the Columbia River (our home river). A week or so later, we’ll cross the 45th Parallel and be closer to the North Pole. More milestones confirming that every step, mile, and day of our journey has us traveling closer to home.
One hundred days into our hike we are loving the overall experience. The deserts and red sandstone of New Mexico, the alpine tundra of Colorado, almost all of Wyoming, the small towns, and the people we have met. Loving walking the Divide. As cliche as it sounds, we are living our dream. Each day is life affirming. Inspiring. Challenging. Better than what I’d imagined from reading books about the Divide, the trail, the West.
But this day, our 100th day on the CDT, we also reflected on how much we love home. A newlywed couple from Tel Aviv-on their six-month road trip across America-gave us a ride to Togwotee Pass. Just before we got out of their van the rain began to pour. Thunder boomed. And we knew we had to hike on to reach Yellowstone on schedule (drat permits!).
Damp packs and soggy feet had us thinking of the comforts of home. Handmade mugs with hot tea or great coffee. Sitting on the couch looking at Puget Sound with a cat between our laps. We so appreciate the life we live. Thinking of home and realizing we are getting much closer has us looking forward to time with family and friends, trail runs, climbing mountains, beach trips, bulk bins and farmer’s markets, great coffee, the Queen Anne library, and the smell of the Sound. I’m excited to return to great work and even found myself day dreaming of projects to come.
We so appreciate our hike and this 100th day of wet weather had us thinking of and appreciating home.
A few miles later, the clouds blew east and the sky turned blue. The mountains of the Absaroka Range, eroding volcanic breccia turned from gray to gold and pink. Uplifted in almost classic Rocky Mountain form with slopes of spruce and lodgepole, creeks winding amid willow thickets, sagebrush and gentian. We stopped to admire the view and ponder we are walking the Divide and we are walking home.