Monday, August 3, 2015

Day 93: Rawlins

7/23: mile 1573.6-1634.5 (purple route straight to town)
Miles: 38?
Total trip miles: 1441.8

With only 3 miles to highway 70 and dry gear getting up wasn't too hard.

We hit the road and the beginning of a big construction area. Trucks zoomed by and I got to use an occasional portapotty, not a terrible trade off.

The road stretched off for ages but there was a breeze which was a treat.

We chatted with a southbound cyclist who had hiked the PCT back in 2006 and had started biking back in Banff. I really love the small communities out here.

It started to get hotter and I started dragging. Our maps told us the sad looking creek we passed was contaminated alkaline water and undrinkable. We are really back in the desert now. Hours dragged and I had a few temper tantrums between the sun and wind. The wind makes the umbrella useless and I was not a happy camper. I finally found Rest Stop and a southbound flipper at our only water source for the day. Charming yes?

Honestly once you pushed the slime away it wasn't too bad. After talking to Matt Rest Stop suggested what I had been thinking all day. It was only midafternoon and if we kept a solid pace we could get to Rawlins by 8 or 9 that night instead of in the morning. We weren't totally sure of mileage because we were on an alternate but it would mean at least a 37 or 38 mile day. But it was road walking and dry camping just a few miles out of town sounded awful so off we went.
Rawlins still seemed ages away but getting closer. The last 10 miles of road had me not so happy but rolling into town was perfect.

Across train tracks and straight into town. Exhausted we found dinner and stared at the overwhelming number of people and lights in the restaurant. It turns out the construction we had been passing was a wind farm in progress and with the local oil boom all the hotel rooms in town were already taken.

So after a bit of searching and a park with an open gate and a lovely lack of no trespassing signs we found ourselves stealth camping under an old guard tower in the historical prison park. My longest day on the CDT and I was more than ready for bed.

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