Day 66: Town Day in Atlantic City

A town day is  always exciting and the thought of soon being clean and having a roof over your head always is a big motivation and does a lot to lift your spirits.

We still have a long way to hike to get to town but there is an end in sight. Our next goal is the Sweetwater River.

As we start our day the trail has another surprise for us with a freak and short rain storm blowing in just as we are about to put on our packs. We grab the umbrellas while we pull out rain gear. By the time we are suited up the worst of it is over. We start hiking with the gear on but within 30 minutes we have to stop and take it off as we are now too hot.

We hike for a few hours and stop for breakfast just before we reach the river.  Approaching the river we see a large animal climbing the opposite bank. We look at it for a while wondering what it is and then Yeti says it is a moose. First one of those we have seen this trip and not something I expected to see in the desert.

The river is a lovely spot with grass and shelter from the ever constant wind and, of course, one of my favourite things, water!! We stop and wash to remove some of the hiker smell before we head into town. Most days in this stretch I have gotten to swim and each time I wash my shirt but that does not mean I don’t smell. We sit there thinking this would have been a good spot for a layover day telling ourselves that a layover day on the trail, as we had originally planned, would still be restful.

After leaving the river we follow the gravel road that leads towards Atlantic city and South Pass. We have decided to go to Atlantic City and see if we can get accomodation for the night. It is a long road over the last part of the plain and we are both exhausted. We hope for a truck to come past so we can hitch into town but end up walking for several hours with only two cars going in the opposite direction.

We stopped for lunch and just after we sat down we spotted a truck going our direction. On the plain you can see a very ling ways into the distance so we see it while it is  still a long ways off.  We quickly stuff everything back in our packs and get back on the road and start walking. It always looks like you are still trying if you are walking as the intended ride comes by. We have got hitching down to a fine art. Yeti is always on the side closest to the driver.  She sticks her thumb out and looks friendly. Yeti does the talking because, for some strange reason, many Americans have a hard time understanding me. Being a couple I think also helps and it has never taken more than two cars for us to get a lift and today is no exception as the truck is going to Atlantic city and agree to give us a lift. We spend the next 10 miles hanging on to the back of the flatbed truck and getting covered in dust but compared to slogging it out in the hot sun this is real luxury.

We end up at the Grubsteak Bar and ask the owner if she knows if there is any accomodation in town. She knows everyone and after a few phone calls has a place for us to stay. It is a beautiful little cabin with our own kitchen and the fridge stocked with the essentials.

We start to enjoy the shower and being inside. We get the dust off and feel clean for the first time in days and then remember back to the river. We decide a rest day camping on the trail is a long way from a rest day spent in a lovely house. We are very glad we came to Atlantic city and decide to stay two nights. We completed 110 miles in 5 days and think we deserve a rest.