South Pass City

Town day! Um, well…kinda. South Pass City is a historic mining town just off the highway and most hikers send themselves food there to avoid the long hitch into Lander. There isn’t even a real post office, just a tiny store that sells candy and souvenirs. I spotted a bar and walked over, only to realize it was a replica of a bar. The whole town is like a museum with the old buildings set up for you to peer through the windows and see what life was like a hundred years ago. With my face pressed against the glass I saw glasses of replica beer, bottles of replica whiskey, and – oh my god – replica spittoons on the floor! I’ve never before had such a desire to be a mannequin and get replica drunk.What the town lacked in services they made up for with kindness. All the employees were so darn friendly. As I was going through my mail drop, it began to rain and they let me repack my things in the old hotel building! All these tourists were milling around me, looking at the antiques as I sorted food into my bag. Maybe they thought I was one of those character actors who act like they are from that era; like the Renaissance Faire or something. On second thought, I doubt people from the 1800’s had tattoos, sneakers, or dreadlock mullets. Next thru hike I’m bringing a powdered wig and a buggy whip.So I’m doing the mile math and it’s about 120 miles to Rawlings. Today is Tuesday…oh crap! I’m going to roll into town on a weekend and won’t be able to get my box! Unless I do some major miles, I’m screwed – like 40 a day. So I set off from lovely little South Pass City, looked forlornly at that pretend bar, and sped off. 3 liters of water, 3 days of food, all my Colorado winter gear (oops, bad planning on my part!) and I knocked out 12 miles by 8:30. That’s four miles an hour, although it was on old flat jeep roads so it wasn’t difficult to do. So yeah, I have my Colorado cold weather gear. All those cold nights in Glacier Park and the Wind River Range with my summer gear? Well, now I’m in the Great Divide Basin, a friggin’ desert, and I have my down parka, balaclava, 15° sleeping bag, etc. I’m camped in some giant sagebrush flatland with cows mooing all around and a light storm brewing. Me thinks some cool rain will make this hot and waterless stretch more tolerable.

  • Starting Location: leaving the Wind River Range
  • Destination: South Pass City


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