Thursday, June 11, 2015

Day 1: Old Faithful, WY to Dry Creek, ID

Through the thick morning mist we caught a glimpse of the faint outline of Old Faithful.  With 45 minutes until the next eruption, we scurried into the Old Faithful Lodge for some warm food. We hustled out 35 minutes later, catching the last few spurts of Old Faithful eruption. As the geyser's stream dwindled to puffs of steam, more people arrived, unaware that Old Faithful had erupted early. 

Jeff hiked with us through the Upper Geyser Basin, and then we said our goodbyes quickly so that he could hurry back to the campground to pack up and get on the road. Reaching Biscuit Basin, we were cheered on by a hard-working group of rangers performing trail maintenance, rerouting the trail to avoid a wet geothermal area.

Once through Biscuit Basin, we began to climb. Shiny obsidian gravel crunched beneath our feet. Larger obsidian boulders lined the steep trail. Above 8,000 feet, small patches of snow dotted the trail, providing excellent ammunition. A snowball exploded on my shoulder, sending an icy stream down my back.  

A chorus of frogs signaled our arrival at Summit Lake, alerting the swarms of mosquitoes lying in wait. Two brightly colored food sacks hung from a nearby tree, but the only creatures in sight were a pair of waterfowl floating serenely across the lake. Periodic gusts of wind kept the mosquitoes at bay long enough for us to cook a quick lunch. 

By mid-afternoon, we left both Wyoming and Yellowstone National Park behind.  And, after no CDT signs for almost 20 miles, we passed 3 new CDT signs within a half a mile. Someone in Idaho cares about keeping the trail well marked!

By late afternoon, we were beginning to feel the limitations of our "training plan," which largely consisted of some running, some rock climbing, and the regular consumption of ice cream. Our feet, unaccustomed to long miles of hiking while carrying packs, hurt.  We took a lengthy watercolor painting break for Sierra. We finally decided to call it a day after only 23 miles, choosing a rather mediocre, mosquito infested camp with bumpy ground and limited bear hang options.


  1. I've been following you guys for awhile now (not in a creepy way;) and am super inspired by you. I'm hoping to hike part of the PCT next summer with my (then) 9-year-old son. We are heading into Yellowstone next week--we live just an hour north--and I'm a little nervous about the mosquitoes. Sounds like I have reason to be. Good luck on the rest of your hike--if I had been a little more current following this blog, we would have loved to have come down to the park and bought you lunch!

  2. Sorry we missed you! Good luck with your PCT plans, and let me know if we can help in any way.