Total trip miles: 1560
A few hours into the night I woke up to my foot throbbing. The thing had been fine all day but getting off my feet had made it show its true colors. I'm blaming the rabbit hole because it hadn't hurt to touch earlier in the week when it had been acting up but it was swollen and awful unhappy now. Not a great midnight wake up call. I went back to sleep after some Ibuprofen a compression sock and crossing my fingers I hadn't done anything serious.
Today was sort of a town day. This section actually had 3 options. You could hitch to Lander, walk 1.3 miles off trail to Atlantic City or stop at South Pass City which was on trail. I had sent a resupply box to South Pass so at least my way would be simple.
An earlyish start and while it was cold at least it wasn't quite as windy, although that didn't last long. A few miles into the day and I was having a tough time. I hadn't actually looked at my ankle but I was limping pretty horribly and the cold wind was awful (I was not going to even try to pull my sock off). We eventually cut down to the Sweetwater River just to try to get out of the wind for a few minutes. A long break later and I had finally stopped shivering and a little while later we were back on the main road taking a purple route towards town.
We decided to split up, I was going to take what looked like the shortest purple route straight to South Pass and Rest Stop would go the longer way to Atlantic City grab some food and then head to South Pass. I was disappointed to miss Atlantic City but the ankle was having none of it.
I headed off into the cow fields and cursed every uneven step on the unused dirt road. But a few miles in it got better and besides the ever present cows and antelope I got to see 2 badgers so the purple route was a definite win for me.
The last hour was unending but I finally limped into South Pass City. A historical site it's an old gold mining town with a few tourists a bathroom with running water and a souvenir shop that accepts hiker packages. I was shocked to find Mountain Spice and we had a happy giggling reunion. We've been texting but haven't seen each other in maybe a month. Not even 30 minutes after I had found myself in town Rest Stop and Dan rolled up. We didn't make it past the souvenir shop porch for ages. It was lovely not moving.
I finally pulled my sock off, my ankle was not in good shape for sure. No hiking out tonight for me. The very nice employees told us we could stay overnight no problem. Dan headed out but Mountain Spice and Rest Stop stayed. We did sink laundry and hung out in the parking lot gossiping and being lazy. One of the guys who worked in the shop drove by and said we were free to stay in the bathroom, and even unlocked the shower for us. Granted it was just a shower pan attached to boiling hot water but hey don't but the hand that feeds right?
Classy accommodations, but wind free and complete with running water!
I'm not sure I actually recommend the shower but the thought was nice. We fell asleep watching a movie on a phone in a bathroom, you know just your typical night on the CDT.
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