CDT, Day 21 — July 23 — 5 miles
Rain fell last night while I slept. At one point the noise woke me. I had left the tent doors open and discovered that the wind direction had changed overnight. Rain wet my sleeping bag a bit. After closing the tent door, I went back to sleep.
In the morning a cold wind blew, but no rain. I started hiking at 6:45 a.m. before my Canadian neighbors were up. I hiked on a good gravel road rather than the trail, well bundled from the cold, enjoying a fine view of the Wind River Mountains across a wet meadow in the sea of sagebrush (see photo).
Soon, I began to feel severe shooting pains at the base of my right leg, possibly shin splints. I hobbled along for 5 miles, wondering if I could make it to South Pass City.
In desperation, I flagged down a passing pickup and asked for a ride. John Coffman, a Nature Conservancy staffer, was checking the Sweetwater River Preserve near where I camped. John kindly drove me to South Pass City and deposited me at the State Historic Site visitor center. A helpful volunteer retrieved the food box and shoes that Betsy had mailed. By this time, I realized that I needed medical attention for my right leg and foot, lower back, and right hip. Time to head home.
I got a ride with Buddy to a rest stop on Wyoming Highway 28. In short order, Vince, a Native American, picked me up and drove me to Farson. We had an engaging chat about his experiences growing up as a minority person in America.
My hitching luck continued as I quickly got a ride to Rock Springs with two construction workers. They drove me to the Greyhound station, but I missed the daily bus by 10 minutes.
My friends drove me to a nearby Super 8 Motel, where I could figure out what I should do. I called Betsy and she agreed to drive to Rock Springs and spend the night with me in the motel then drive us to Boulder in the morning.