CDT, Day 14 — July 16 — 32 miles
I spent an OK night camped 10 feet from Highway 71. Fortunately, only a few cars passed by.
I was back on the road at 6 a.m. hiking north on a smooth shoulder in cool air under blue skies. Until about 10, I enjoyed pleasant hiking. But that changed as the air and pavement began to heat up.
Not having to pay attention to rocks and roots allowed me to take in the landscape, where sagebrush ruled. On the lee (eastern) sides of ridges, snow banks persisted and supported tall shrubs, perhaps serviceberry. Drainage bottoms sported greener vegetation than the adjacent hillsides. I found water in several drainages, and stopped at as Sage Creek (see photo) to fill up.
As I walked, two motorists stopped and offered water and snacks, which I gratefully accepted. At noon I reached Teton Reservoir, a Bureau of Land Management Recreation Site. I took an hour to splash in the reservoir and took on 3.5 liters of water before I started on the last 15 miles to reach Rawlins.
Using my cell phone and highway mile markers, I found that I was hiking at 2.8 miles per hour. I figured I would reach Rawlins around 6 p.m., but those last miles to town dragged on. When I arrived, I discovered that my motel was 1.5 miles away at the eastern end of town. Thankfully, a kind woman gave me a lift. After checking in.
I was so tired that I couldn’t stand up for a shower, so I took a bath. I ate leftover trail food for dinner, watched TV, and conked out.