My brother’s email said, “Welcome to Wyoming! I remember when I was little I always wanted to live there until we drove through it once on a road trip. I recall there being a lot of random fences – possibly wind blocks?” And with that we came down from the mountains of CO and entered a vast treeless stretch of the trail which we later learned is called the Great Divide Basin. This is essentially a circular section of the Continental Divide with mountains surrounding a big dry bowl in the middle, and of course we got to walk through it.
The dry stuff started within two days of entering WY. We quickly got used to less water again and made our way through a desolate dirt road section with only two motor bikes passing us in 1.5 days on the roads. Trees were limited and the water had a funky taste. We capped this section off with a 46 mile push into the town of Rawlins which ended up being our only real town/hotel stop until the very end of the state.
From there it was almost 118 miles to our next resupply at the other side of the basin. We felt good after the town splurge though and were ignorantly blissful about what was to come. We had some good fortune heading our way too.
First, we caught another hiker only ten miles into the section named Softwalker. Really cool guy with an interesting story. We talked for over four days straight debating ideas and telling about our pasts. He was a champion jet ski racer back in high school for example. Second, the weather cooperated. We were stormed on the first day out and the storm brought cooler temps the next couple days. Water was reasonable, every ten miles or so, and we only one gross, cowy source. It got hot the last couple days but we were grooving, knocking out four 30+ days in a row across the dry desolate dirt roads seemingly only used by us and the wild horses that roamed there.
From the basin we made our way to South Pass City, a small historically restored little village that helps hikers, but has little food to buy and no showers! It was then onto the Winds. And Jeff, along the way we saw plenty of those fences and after seeing the basin, it would take a special sort of person to live in this part of WY.