CDT: Day 5
This morning I work up with a renewed view on what I want to get out of this trip. I always planned on there being a little slop in the time it would take me to complete the trip but Unfortunately, I told my son I “should” be back on a certain day and now that is set in stone, not an option. This works for me and fits well with what I want to get out of the trip so I modified my route to 1) miss out on snowy trails and 2) make it back by the deadline set by my son. Lol.
With this renewed plan, I decided that I would see the things I wanted to see and make up the time later if I have to. The first opportunity that came up was a visit to Bannack, MT. Bannack is an old gold mining town that was abandoned but preserved in the form of a State Park. I was the only one there and it was pretty spooky. As the sun came up I got to experience the town light up and managed to grab a couple good pictures. Look for the gallery post for CDT Day 5 for all of the pictures but here is one:
After Bannack, I wound my way through a valley that was full of cattle and the occasional Ranch. The skies were clear and blue and the sun coming over the surrounding hills made for great pictures.
Leaving the valley was a lot more interesting than expected as it was through a canyon with walls higher than I could see and only room in the bottom for a single dirt road and the stream that cut the canyon.
After that it was highway miles to get around a potentially snowed in forest road and my first trip through “open range” which was miles and miles of dirt, rocks, and twigs sticking out of the ground. I felt like I was in a different world but it led to probably the best part of my day, Grand Teton National Park. The park was open but all of the services were closed. I was there later in the day and was viewing all of the mountains from the East so they were mostly just shadows. Still, earlier I managed to get some good pictures from the West and being so close to the mountains was pretty cool.
I again made my way on a rerouted path and ended up in Pinedale, WY where I decided to stop for the night. My planned route from Pinedale has a lot of Continental Divide crossings and I did not want to do those in the dark. I made a lot of lengthy stops today and am a little behind schedule. Tomorrow or the next day, I will have to force myself not to stop at every photo opportunity…. it’s really hard though.