Encampment to Rawlins with a hitchhiking adventure back to Atlantic City

Day 109

I never realized how cranky I am in the morning until Paperweight kept pointing it out. I just want to sleep in for an hour, but at 6 he was packing up. We wandered back to the laundry room to charge, use a bathroom, and fill up on water. I highly recommend the Lazy Acres Campground in Riverside, WY. So clean and nicely maintained I would of stayed for days. We headed back to Encampment walking a little over a mile back into the small town of 450 people. The only place serving breakfast today was the Red Wagon. A kind woman who owns the little antique shop with a small food section was so lovely and funny. I like this town! We all ate to our hearts content and I enjoyed a chocolate cake in a mini mason jar the best. Yes for breakfast! The second round of drinks were on her. We spent too long hanging out here, but come on does it really matter. We wandered back outside threw on the pack and headed to the main road leading out of town. Passed a historical home with its information and a photo below. It took maybe half an hour before we were in the back of a pick up zipping up the hill to the top. We jumped out of the truck and walked the road towards another dirt road. Before the dirt road, we saw the trailer parked near a gravel pit. It is open to all hikers and we decided to hangout inside for a bit since the sky was dark. We enjoyed over half an hour listening to the radio before deciding to get going since it still wasn’t raining. The trail followed dirt roads as a few ATVers zipped by. There was a plot of land for sale up here that I would buy in an instant if I had the money. Nice views and easy walking and we ended up doing 19.4 miles today on the day! That’s a great day especially out of town.

Day 110

This morning was slow going both getting out of bed and making it another half a mile down the trail. I managed to get off trail after going around dead trees having to bushwhack through a dense forest then climb under a barbed wire fence. Not the best way to start the day. The trail wanders around sage brush and past lots of cows meaning stepping over cow shit along the way. Back to desert living! The trail led up and down sage grass hills and around angry cows running from us. At times it was a bit rocky, but enjoyable with views of desert in all directions. I took a break along the trail waiting for PW to catch up to me. We began a downhill climb to meet a gravel road that would go on for miles into the next town, Rawlins. It was warm today and lots of cars stopped to ask if we needed water. As we were breaking at a spring, Patience came walking down to us. We hadn’t seen her since Pie Town as she had flipped up. We shared advice and caught up for about an hour before getting back to the road. We walked into the sunset and found a campsite down a road where the three of us set up. 

Day 111

We woke up early and got back onto the road walk. A few miles in we ran into Toes, who I hiked with a bit on the PCT last year. It was nice to catch up and share stories from this year. Maybe I’ll run into him again on another trail. The road turned into pavement and the rush of town was in sight. We walked into town and under the railroad tracks making great time so excited to get to the Thai Restaurant. We followed google maps over the “official” trail straight to the restaurant. CC was waiting with her boots off at a bench. We walked to the door to see a sign saying closed “Aug 8-9 sorry for the inconvenience!” No! There food was so good and we all needed a buffet. We looked at Yogi’s guide and she recommended Buck’s for their burgers. I got one with jalapeños, bacon, pepper jack cheese, and ranch dressing along with a huge portion of handcut fries. It was so delicious! But I was so hungry I would of ate anything. We called the Days Inn where they have a $65 hiker rate and a continental breakfast. Sold! We were excited to check out the Rawlins 4H fair. I wanted fried dough and to ride a couple rides! But all we found were the sheep, goats, chickens, and horse barns. They were selling cotton candy and a few other things, but no rides. It was nice to check up, but we didn’t spent too long wanting the luxuries of town. We stopped at a little ice cream shop first before making our way to the hotel. Magic! We found a can of bear spray in the bin that would save us close to $40. The hotel was nice with comfy beds. I asked the maids kindly for extra shampoo and conditioner. We lounged and cleaned up before shopping for food then grabbing take out from BK. The evening was spent in bed drinking beers and watching the olympics! My shoulder has been killing me and I finally got a little therapy as my shoulder popped maybe back into place. I need to figure it out before my next long hike for sure. Tomorrow we get to figure out how to get to Lander, WY. Over two hours of hitchhiking await us.

Day 112

This morning we destroyed all you can eat breakfast buffet. Then at check out we headed out to the road and slowly walked back to the point where we had been about a month ago. If you haven’t been following my blog you may not know that there is so much snow in Colorado we decided to jump up and hike the basin in June. We made it to the spot where we had started a month ago with a sign and barely trying to hitch yet. I noticed a huge truck carrying what I would later find out was over 20 tons had pulled over. The driver ushered us into his truck and talked our ears off. First time in a big truck as Paperweight and I sat on his bed and Chipmunk sat shotgun. He was a nice guy and all he wanted was someone talk to. He convinced us that we needed to go to Independence Rock, which is the location where people traveling on the Oregon Trail needed to get to by July 4th in order to beat the upcoming winter storms. He assured us it wasn’t too far from the turn we needed to take. As we passed the turn, he kept driving for miles as we go farther and farther from where we needed to be. 63.7 miles total on this leg of the hitch. He dropped us off here and we looked at the rock and signs before heading back to the road to hitch. Cars were going 70 mph and zooming by. We were so far from trail. Chipmunk crossed the road back to the parking lot and asked for riders from people. She was successful as another trucker offered to take us not only back to the junction we needed, but all the way to Atlantic City. Originally, we just wanted to get to Lander, but a ride all the way was even better. His name was Dennis and he was even more of a character! Funny guy with a nice rig. I have a new appreciation for truckers and their lifestyle. He also makes almost double of what I made as an elementary school teacher. Career change? He stopped for us to enjoy a scenic outlook before continuing on. We rode with him for almost two hours as he turned on to the dirt road that leads to the small town of Atlantic City. He took us 113 miles and joined us for a burger at our favorite place, The Grubstake. None of us have ever done that much hitchhiking. It is nice to be back and connect our footsteps. We bid Dennis farewell and slowly made our way out of town. We walked a road towards South Pass City. We passed cows and The Carissa which is the old mine for the town. We camped in the woods very close to town as the sun had set. All our steps are connected and the hitches were fun!


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