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We are currently on another long distance hike, and the third leg of our "triple crown", the Continental Divide Trail (the "CDT"). Come along with us if you can - if not in person then by following our grand adventure via our "posts from the trail".  Check out our Flickr Photos, which we'll update periodically, and see it through our eyes!

Our Credo...

"Success: To laugh often and much, to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children, to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends, to appreciate beauty, to find the best in others, to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded!" ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Trip Report – End Of This Year’s Journey

Deb and I are back home, at least for the time being. We left Togwotee Pass (pronounced “TOE-guh-tee”) on Sunday with the intent to spend 9 days hiking through the Wind River Mountain range.

“Togwotee” means “from here we can go anywhere”, so named for its promise and possibilities. The Absoroka Mountains to the north are eroded volcanic formations, the Wind River mountains to the south are granitic. Dubois and the Wyoming “badlands” lie to the east, while Jackson Hole and other large valleys with lots of water lie to the west. Togwotee pass is more than a geologic crossroads, it’s at a convergence of wildlife habitats, forming both natural boundaries as well as bridges. And yet, as high passes go, it is one that is fairly easily traversed. Truly from the pass, one could go anywhere, both physically as well as experientially. But the darkside of potential and promise is when conditions are such that they cannot be fullfilled.

Alas, our hike came to an abrupt end on Sunday. We walked about a mile or so south of Togwotee Pass and my left leg was in such excruciating pain that to continue on into the Wind River mountains, with few good options for bailing out, would have been foolish. We sat for awhile and weighed all the options and potential consequences of going on or turning back and reluctantly hiked back to the highway. Very reluctantly. We were having the first decent weather we had had in a couple weeks, with a great forecast for sunny and warm days for the rest of the week…….sadly, we hitched into Jackson, Wyoming (talk about culture shock after 10+ weeks on the trail) and then began a series of buses back home that took the rest of Sunday and a good bit of Monday to get us back to our home in north Idaho.

We’re disappointed to have to end the hike prematurely, but very glad for all the great times we had this summer. Three months and 1,000 miles of hiking is not a bad way to spend a summer.

I went to see the doctor yesterday. The good news is that there does not seem to be any fractures or other severe or permanent damage, just an extremely bad case of shin splints – inflammation and some tearing (periostitis, I think it’s called) of the lining between the bone and the muscles. When you rub the shin where the muscle meets the bone there is a disconcerting sound like “saran wrap”
crinkling. So, I’m on a prescription strength anti-inflammatory (Ketorolac) and am supposed to rest and ice the leg as much as possible for the next week or two. When I do have to move around, I have an “orthoboot” to walk in. Well it’s more like a hobble than a walk.

Anyway, physically we are home, at least for a couple days; but mentally, I am still somewhere out there wandering in the Winds. And I’m not quite ready for a full re-entry. And Deb’s not ready for work and doesn’t really want to look at her home office much until she is ready to work. So, we are leaving Friday morning to go to the annual long distance hiking gathering in Lake Wenatchee. Then we’ll spend most of next week car camping, sitting in front of a campfire, feet up and reading mostly. After that we’ll return home and try some more serious re-entry to post trail life.

So, that’s it for trail updates for now. In the next month or so, I’ll do a general gear review, an overview of this summer’s trip and generally clean up the photos and captions on the website – when finished I’ll send a notice to the list. Then in January or February, I’ll post an update as our plans for
next year become more clear. We have the intent to finish up the rest of the CDT, one way or another, in the next year or so…….

Thanks for coming along for the hike!

Phil (Nowhere Man) and Deb (Walking Carrot)

One Response to “Trip Report – End Of This Year’s Journey”

  1. paul leech Says:

    Ya gotta be happy to have the 3 mos being √≥ut there’. And thanks for the postings, keeps me grounded in a way.

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