Battle Pass to mile 1563.3: 16.8 miles
Total miles: 1349.2
I slept in a little in our motel room, finally waking up by 6:30am. There wasn’t any place open for breakfast in town, so I ate my leftover couscous from my food bag that I hadn’t made the night before. We watched some morning TV while we waited for the post office to open at 8:30am. We were there when it opened, and collected our resupply box we sent to ourselves, as well as two packages for me: my summer weight sleeping bag, and a brand new pack.
So much was happening in the San Juans when we arrived with snow that I completely forgot to mention that I actually already got a new pack on the trail. You probably didn’t notice, because it was just the smaller version of the pack I started with in the same color by with a larger, more padded hip belt to accommodate my growing baby bump. It made a huge difference in the comfort of my pack, and I was grateful to Chris at ULA, the company who makes the bag, for spending time with me on the phone and via emails trying to figure out how to make backpacking while pregnant more comfortable.
As my baby bump has gotten larger though, my pack has recently started to become uncomfortable again. I’d been wearing the hip belt above the bump, but finally adjusted it to below. It took some getting used to, but for a week or so it made a big difference. When I was thinking of getting off of the trail, I figured I’d just deal with it until then, but when I made the decision to keep going I also decided a pack change was in order. With my lighter sleeping bag sent from home (nearly a pound lighter!), and a few other equipment adjustments, I knew I could cut almost 1.5-2lbs from my pack thus allowing me to try a frameless pack, which would be over a pound lighter than my current pack (saving me at least 3lbs I total!). I chose a Gossamer Gear Kumo 36 liter pack; and crossed my fingers that it would work out.
Back at the motel I carefully packed my new super lean pack, and was happy with how it felt. Just to be sure I sent my old pack to the next town we’re stopping in incase any problems arise over the next few days, and I sent my heavier bag back home. From there, all that was left to do was hitch back to the trail. We asked the first person we saw, and although he wasn’t going to the pass he cheerfully agreed to give us a ride. We weren’t sure if we were going to go into Encampment at the beginning of our trip, we’re glad that we did!
We were back to the trail by 11am, and enjoyed getting it of the hot town below and back into the cooler mountains. We really enjoyed hiking today, we tend to everyday, but today we both were in high spirits. Our first full day in Wyoming! We stayed in the forest for the first part of the day, then passed through some open rolling hills to close out the day. Towards seven found a quiet spot on the edge of the forest, and called it a day.