We started our days with pancakes, eggs and black coffee, thanks to our hosts, for the last two mornings. We have had such a luxurious and much needed break that we are ready to get back on the trail.
We meet our second host, Patrica, for the first time this morning. We chat for a while and then she offers to drive us to South Pass City to get back on the trail and after several refusals we final accept her gracious offer.
South Pass City is a historical site where original buildings from the 1800’s still stand. The people that work there all dress in period costumes and were excited to tell us about the site. We went to the souvenir shop to pick up our box and had a great conversation with the lady that worked in the store. She told us how she and her husband had been coming to the area for years and decided they wanted to retire here. They bought some land and then when ever they could, would come up and work on their log cabin. After several years of projects they were able to finally move in permanently and they currently now live in. She was also excited to tell us about her upcoming hiking trip into the area of the Winds, particularly the area we are about to hike through.
The hike today was such a pleasure because there was water everywhere. We are used to having to carry a large volume of water because our sources are often 15 or more miles apart. Water is very heavy and creates a heavy load but now we can get by with just a liter and this makes our packs considerably lighter.
We take one of the Ley Alternate Routes and end a very pleasant days hike at the BLM Sweetwater Campground. We have the luxury of toilets, rubbish bin, fire pit and a picnic table at our disposal and they are much appreciated. We are camped next to the river as it was the only spot left open. We know our tent and bag will be wet in the morning but decided the other luxuries make up for this.
Each night before going to sleep we look over the maps for the next days hike. I had looked at the CDT trail on the web for this section and saw that we had no really high passes for about 5 days but when we study the map this night we saw that tomorrow had a 10,800 foot pass to go over. We could not reconcile this difference until we realized that the Ley route and the official CDT route did not take the same path through this section. The pass started to climb about 17 miles further past our current camp site and we decided to do a shorter day of 15 miles tomorrow and then tackle the pass first thing the next morning. We know that there is a good chance of snow at this altitude and do not want to chance having to either summit the pass or camp on top at the end of a long day. There is also always the chance of summer storms and the top of a pass is the last place you want to be when one of these blows in.