Daily Log: Day 69

Meetup: Day 69 – Saturday 9/19/2020 – 2213.0 – sunny, breezy, cool. I woke and packed up. I tried to sleep in but only got to 5:20 am. Oh well I tried on my last day. I put on my puffy to get warmer. I had my last on-trail pop tart breakfast sitting against the Jeep ‘s back tire. Then I was off at 6:10 am. Up the road by another campsite. I hiked quietly by them to not wake their dogs. I came to a gate blocking the road and walked around. The road walk was easy and now it was light enough to see. I went by a closed camping area trailhead and two small lakes. I had plenty of water so I didn’t stop. The trail began to climb. Easily I ascended. At about 7 am I was warmed up and stopped to take off my headlight, headband and puffy. I was disappointed that I had only gone 3 miles. Oh well I only had 7 more and I would be done. I started listening to my audio book Nine Perfect Strangers to help pass the time. Then at 8:15 am I stopped for my first snack. I was again surprised because now I had only 4 miles left. Where did the time and miles go? I must have been moving faster or misread the earlier mileage. The trail was up on the crest of a hill and became very rocky. Carefully I placed each foot. I was trying to make good speed. Nearly there I saw two mountain bikers approach. I said hi and they said they had met my son – a typical refrain but a good one for the last day – ha! I was only 1/2 mile to go. But I made a bad turn coming down the hill and when I looked at Guthooks I was a few tenths if a mile beyond. So I climbed back up the hill, went by the horse corral, by Ken’s camp but didn’t see his truck, and started down to the forest road to the intersection. I saw the Jeep. I yelled a big loud “Hello” and saw Justin waving. A moment later a big hug, lots of smiles, selfies and I WAS DONE, WE WERE DONE, IT IS DONE.

Hiking into camp where we had been stranded for three days in the snowstorm. This completes my goal of section-hiking over 1000 miles in 69 days from South Pass City WY to Cuba NM where I had gotten off trail in 2016. What remains is to hike from South Pass City WY to Glacier National Park and the Canadian border. (Photograph Courtesy of J. Watt)
I am happy. I am done. (Photograph Courtesy of J. Watt)
Time to sit down, drink a celebratory Coke, and … (Photograph Courtesy of J. Watt)
tell Justin that I couldn’t have done it without him. Thank you son! (Photograph Courtesy of J. Watt)
Marking the end I send my last Garmin InReach daily message: “I’m checking in, everything is ok.” As they would say in the movies: It’s a wrap. (Photograph Courtesy of J. Watt)

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