The road continued, eventually changing from gravel to pavement. Parts of town began to come into view and our wide open road became a residential road framed by houses and cars. We arrived in downtown Rawlins just as the heat of the day kicked into full gear. We ate at Anoog's for their Thai buffet, where we ran into the most hikers we have see in one place. The food was delicious and the price was right.
Afterwards we headed towards the Econo Lodge where we had our fingers crossed for an early check-in. They allowed us to check in around noon! Once we got to our room, we dropped our things and quickly began trying to throw away all of our trash and collect all of our dirty clothes to wash. Our great friends Jason and Derek from Nashville (and coworkers at Cumberland Transit) were going to swing by Rawlins for the night on their way to climb the Grand Teton in Jackson. There is nothing worst then confining a hiker and his/her pack to a hotel room and not being used to the thru-hiking stink. We scrambled to get everything that smelled out and even let our gear air out a little bit.
Meeting up with Jason and Derek in Middle of Nowhere, Wyoming was an absolute treat. We felt guilty for dragging them into the Great Basin, but with a couple of days in the Tetons ahead of them we figured they needed a little desert time. We grabbed pizza in town before heading back to the Econo Lodge, where we stayed for the night. As excited as we were to share stories of our adventure so far, we enjoyed even more hearing about life back in Nashville, Cumberland Transit, and all the adventures they had been getting involved with and planning. The CT family is something else. We won't get into too much mushy talk because we might tear up, so we will just leave it at simple that: "The CT family is something else." We love y'all so much. We miss y'all, and we are sending y'all the most rad adventure vibes!
The next day we spent the first part of the morning with Jason and Derek before they headed towards Teton National Park to climb the Grand. We started the morning with a continental (divide) breakfast and then Derek treated us to an awesome cup of coffee at the local coffee shop. After this, we parted ways at the local grocery store where Garbelly tried to stall them so they would have to stay another night.
The rest of our afternoon involved sitting in the Econo Lodge lobby with Liam and Kate. We were all heading back to trail today but we were searching for the motivation at the bottom of pints of Talenti Ice Cream. For the record, there is no motivation down there just instant tummy ache and regret. Finally, we mustered up the energy to head to trail. The sunset that evening quickly reminded us of the absolute beauty of the Basin. Our hundredth day on trail ended in a beautiful way. We fell asleep looking up at the stars surrounding us.
Garbelly & Critter