Monday, June 27, 2022

Day 111: Goodbye, Pinedale!

August 9: I took my time getting up this morning, but only because the post office didn't open until 8:45am. That's not a typo--that's the actual time it was supposed to open. I'd never seen such a weird opening time for the post office, but it is what it is.

But it also meant I could sleep in late and take my time checking out of the motel.

There was a line at the post office when I arrived--apparently it was the happening place in Pinedale! But I eventually got to the front of the line and picked up two packages.

The first was my shoes and the main reason I stuck around in town for so long. Baby really needed a new pair of shoes!

I walked over in my Crocs leaving my old shoes behind at the motel to be disposed of with the expectation that the new shoes would be at the post office and in good condition. It was a bit of a gamble, but I had checked the tracking number for the package and it showed as being ready for pick-up at the Pinedale post office. *fingers crossed* So that worked out well and I laced up my new shoes right there in the post office lobby.

The other package, I realized, wasn't actually mine. It was addressed to a Carpenter, but it wasn't my first name. "This isn't my package," I told the lady behind the counter. She went back and searched some more, eventually finding the package with my laptop. Thank goodness the other Carpenter didn't drop in and steal my laptop. *shaking head*

Of course, now that I was leaving town, the laptop was pretty useless and I didn't really need anything else in the package, so I asked for it to be forwarded to the next trail town.

Mission accomplished, I was cleared to leave town!

But... since I was here.... I decided to grab a lunch from a deli next door to the motel, ordering the Italian sandwich. I thought about taking it with me. It was still a bit early for lunch and it would make a nice lunch later, but I decided that I really didn't want to carry the extra weight (nor the trash it would leave behind afterwards), so I wound up eating it right then and there.

Then I walked over to the road leading back to the trailhead, stuck out my thumb and started hitching a ride. I'd been at it for about 15 minutes when Puffy arrived, also ready to return to the trail. We were there for another 5 minutes or so when a local couple pulled over to give us a ride. They weren't originally planning to go all the way to the Elkhart Park trailhead but decided to go out of their way to drop us off which we were both very grateful for.

And then it was another 11 miles of off-trail hiking to get back to the CDT. Fortunately, I didn't have to retrace all of my steps. About halfway down the side-trail, it splits in a Y shape. When I walked to the trailhead, I went down the right side of the Y. Now to return to the trail, I'll go down the left side. So there was only about 5 or 6 miles that I actually had to repeat, and adding the extra miles didn't feel quite so bad as long as I didn't have to walk over the same path twice. It was actually a pretty scenic route, after all.

The trail was just as busy as the Elkhart Park TH looked!

In fact, it was a little too scenic. The trail was absolutely crowded with day hikers and weekenders and felt positively claustrophobic. It wasn't until I reconnected with the main red-line CDT where I finally got away from the big crowds.

About a half hour into the hike, my phone unexpected started ringing. It was somewhat of a surprise for a couple of reasons. First, I thought I had turned on the airport mode to save battery power so it shouldn't have worked, and second, I didn't even realize I got a signal out here!

I went ahead and answered the phone, and it was the desk clerk from the motel I had checked out of. She wanted to let me know that I had forgotten my shoes in the room!

Which made me chuckle. I explained that I had new shoes shipped to me at the post office and no longer needed the old ones, but that she was more than welcome to keep them herself or give them away to someone if she still thought they were still usable. Or just throw them away. I wasn't going to back for them.

But that was really, really nice of them. The staff at the Sundance Motel were really good. They were really top notch and very friendly.

I hung up, and then turned the airplane mode on--like I thought it was before. I still needed to conserve battery power as much as possible until the next trail town! Anyone else who called would just have to leave a message for me to check later.

A couple of hours into the day's hike, I found a moose off the side of the trail. I took a few photos, and when a group of five loud people came up behind me, I tried signaling for them to shush so as not to startle off the moose. He was just minding his own business, eating leaves off of trees, and it was nice to watch.

See the moose in this photo?

The trail climbed steadily higher and higher until reading the CDT. The last hour or so of hiking, the heel of my foot was hurting a bit, but I wrote it off as part of breaking in the new shoes and didn't think much of it.

I eventually set up camp a bit off trail late in the afternoon, a little before sunset. I hadn't actually gone particularly far--a little over 15 miles in all--but I got a late start on the trail getting out of town and to the trailhead.

In camp, when I pulled off my shoes and socks, I saw what the problem with my heel was. A thick callus had formed on my foot (that part wasn't new news), but my skin had cracked down to the live layer of skin. That's what was hurting me. I applied some Neosporin and slapped a band-aid over it. I didn't know what else to do with it. That had never happened to my foot before, but the skin was very dry so I figured the Neosporin's creamy coolness might feel good and help prevent infection at the same time. Win-win! =)

I also noticed that a small hole had formed in my pack where the shoulder straps attached to my pack. I knew that would have to be patched up before the hole got worse and my pack suffered a catastrophic failure, but the sun had already set and at these high elevations, my hands were absolutely freezing. I just couldn't do anything that needed as much dexterity as hand-sewing. The hole in my pack would have to wait a bit. Maybe I'd fix it tomorrow. 

It didn't look like the hole would be an immediate problem, so I figured it could wait until tomorrow afternoon when the temperatures were warmer. During a lunch break or something. I'd definitely keep an eye on the hole to make sure it didn't get too bad in the meantime.

And thus ended another day on the trail. 

There are rules about how far you can camp from water sources and trails and such, but this trailhead had markers so people could count out how many steps it took them to go 100 or 200 feet.

For me, it was about 33-34 steps to reach 100 feet, which is the distance that one should camp from streams and rivers. (From trails and lakes, the required distance was 200 feet, but it seemed pointless to share that photo. It's just like this one except for the text.)

Puffy is on the trail!

So many horses on the trail.....

I have no idea who this is. Just one of the many, many people admiring all the wonderful views.

See that dark crack that formed under my callus? It hurt! And there really wasn't much I could do about it.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Absolutely beautiful shots of trail and views and then end with GROSS.