11th July Tuesday
17 miles

I knew I had a bit of a climb this morning so it’s an early 5:30 start for me.

Hard work but with great views along the way, sunrise

Last night I camped at a junction where most hikers would turn off and head to Pinedale where they would resupply, my plan is to head straight through and walk 6-7 days (167 miles, 269km) then when I hit the highway crossing I would hitch a ride into Dubois and do my resupply there and visit the post office to re-forward my package that I sent a few weeks back (excess stuff that weighted me down)

Progress is slow in deep snow, I struggle with each step as it drains me of energy as I work my way through the snow and the relentless river crossings where I no longer remove my boots.  And then there is the constant checking my path with my GPS where the snow hides all trace of where the  trail is.  But the views of the many lakes I pass and mountains  I guess make it worth while.

Lake Elbow

I was resting, over looking Elbow Lake and occasionally I would hear voices but I couldn’t see anyone.  I moved on and not long later I saw a team of hikers were coming up the trail.  They were teenagers with a teacher with them and we stopped and talked for a while, the first humans for 4 days I have spoken to.  What I have noticed, and I saw this in Lander while I was at the outdoor recreation getting dehydrated vegetables, was the heavy  duty tramping boots.  Not only that, the size of their backpacks were enormous, how they carried them I don’t know.  I noticed that the  teacher was carrying something very large in her backpack.  What it turned  out to be was an electric fence, when camping for the night they would put their food bags within the fence to prevent bears stealing their food.  It’s a government  requirement for such school activities and I noticed also that all the students had bear spray on their hips.  Bears, Grizzly bears surely not in this area I said, but I was corrected that there were about 14 grizzly bears on the Winds National park which the teacher said stretches 175 miles.

A bridge crossing at last

Thank goodness I didn’t have to walk in the water