Dubois, WY to Lima, MT
In this section, I finally started to see Southbound CDT hikers. Yes!! This meant first-hand information about the trail ahead! I would ask them how the trail was through Yellowstone. The responses were varied… Everything from “Yellowstone is amazing” to multiple hikers complaining about the trail being boring.
Yellowstone holds a special place in my heart. In my mid-20s, it became my first experience in a national park. On that trip, I spent 4 days exploring, and instantly fell in love with the waterfalls, animals, geysers, and mountains. I understood that the CDT would follow a different route, and I wouldn’t see the waterfall or herds of bison.
…But, I knew that I would still love it.
Walking the CDT through Yellowstone was still a beautiful experience. I soaked my sore feet in warm hot springs. I got first car hitches that took me to a grill to get cheeseburgers. I had easy days where I curled up in my tent watching Game of Thrones in the rain. And I had long days where I crushed back-to-back 30 milers.
One day, I stumbled across a mama grizzly bear and her cub. They ignored me, and continued wandering through the woods. I was completely mesmerized, as I snapped photos, and slowly backed away.
I watched Lone Star geyser erupt, completely alone, as the sun set. The next morning, I visited old faithful geyser, with about 200 other visitors.
We demolished the breakfast buffet, and walked by pristine lakes and bubbling geothermal pools. Grizzly bear poop was everywhere, and we carried bear spray and hung our food.
And finally, we left the park, and walked into Idaho. The next day, we hit Montana.
I have a lot of words for Yellowstone.
That doesn’t even cross my mind.