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Well, to nobody's surprise, we loved the Wind River Range. Naturally, we did the Cirque of the Towers alternate, and loved it. The going was tough at times, since we had all got out of the habit of mountain climbing as we trudged across southern Wyoming. Texas pass was a particular butt kicker, we climbed 1500feet in 1.5miles, which is pretty steep! Then the descent was a pretty vertical down-climb on loose scree and slippery gravel... Not my favourite, especially since the tread on my shoes was all but gone by the time we got to the winds. Oh well, I survived and only fell over three or four times that day (I swear I'm meant to be getting better at this hiking business, but it doesn't seem to be happening.
The best and the hardest thing about the views in the Basin are that you can see for miles and miles and miles. I took this photo just so you can see the trail we followed all the way from the horizon. It took a fair bit of extra self motivation to keep walking because there were no trees or hills or waypoints to measure your progress with. It felt like we were moving on a treadmill sometimes, walking over the same slightly rocky gravel road past the same 5 sagebrush bushes. But it also felt good to be able to see all that way back and finally think "oh we walked over that!"
The Basin was a beautiful few days of walking. It gets a bit of a bad wrap, but we got a good (for the Basin) weather window and actually really enjoyed it.
Don't get me wrong, we will not be suddenly doing 30mile days from here on out! The days were exhaustingly long, and we fell into bed each night wondering what on earth we were doing, but man the views were worth it. It was fairly flat sage brush for miles and miles and miles in every direction, which reminded me so much of the hiking in the north of Australia. So pretty.
Well, the terrain is pretty flat, the water is pretty alkaline and the road walk felt pretty endless. We put in a 28.5mile day so we could do a shorter day into town. It was our longest day yet, and left us all pretty tired. But, we are pushing through the miles, so hopefully we can get through the Basin pretty quick. We are stuck in Rawlins today waiting for a package, but hopefully we can push on tomorrow. I'm excited for northern Wyoming, so hopefully we can get there soon!
We both actually loved the section from where the Silverthorn alternate rejoins the official route to Berthoud Pass. The trail takes you up onto the actual continental divide and keeps you up there. It leaves you feeling like you are walking in the sky. My Achilles tendon was still not entirely on board with the whole hiking thing, so Bourbon and I mellowed out our distances so that we were only doing 4000-5000ft of ascent and descent each day. Which in Colorado is keeping it as mellow as we could manage (which is hilarious, it's almost double the gain and loss we would do on our biggest days in New Mexico).
Wyoming had plenty of little Hills on the way to the Battle Pass trailhead (where we hitched down to Encampment from). It did feel a little like Wyoming was trying to prove that it had mountains too. It was windy, as we expected, but the views were refreshing and different. We started seeing Mesas again, and rolling hills rather than jagged mountains.