Day 100: mile 1732.3 to Atlantic City, 12 miles
Day 101: Atlantic City to mile 1762.2, 19.5 miles
Total miles: 1530
Condensation is the bane of many a backpacker sleeping in a tent. At best, it’s an annoyance that can easily be fixed at a lunch by drying the tent out in a sunny spot. At worst, it can cause the tent to be a sopping wet mess, heavier than it was when you set it up, and it’s cloudy all day with no hope of drying it out in sight. There are many ways to avoid condensation, the two easiest being don’t camp near a body of water, and set your tent up under a tree. Our night by the Sweetwater River, we did neither. We through caution to the wind mostly because we knew we’d be heading into Atlantic City that day, and hoped to spend the night there. So we found ourselves packing up a wet tent quite happily, knowing burgers and hopefully a room were in store for us in 12 short road miles.
Atlantic City is a far cry from the well known New Jersey city. It’s population is tiny, and there is one restaurant in town, the Grubsteak, as well as Wild Bill’s Guns and B&B. We headed straight for the restaurant, and ordered some food. There was no service in town, which isn’t unusual for the trail, but is for a town. We’d been hoping to do some research on medical clinics in Lander and Pinedale, both much larger than Atlantic City, because I needed some routine blood work done due to my pregnancy. They did have WiFi though, and the owner happened to be a former nurse, so she called the Pinedale Clinic to see if I could get screened for gestational diabetes there. She also let me use the phone to talk to my midwife in Maine. Plus, our burgers were delicious, so all and all the Grubsteak was a very hiker-friendly place to stop! The owner also rented out a room next door, so when we were done eating we could walk next door and relax for the rest of the day. The heat and bigger miles throughout the basin had taken a bit more out of me than I expected. I hoped to take a nap before dinner, but couldn’t fall asleep. We eventually wandered back over to the bar for dinner, and afterwards I hoped I’d sleep soundly to rest up for the start of the Wind River Range the next day.
Unfortunately, neither of us slept well in Atlantic City. Not sure if it was too much food, or not being outside, but we both tossed and turned. When I woke up at quarter of six I shut my eyes again, and managed to get in another half hour before I couldn’t sleep anymore. Despite not having a good nights sleep, I felt relatively well rested. I ate a BLT I had got to go at the bar next door the night before, and we were on our way by 7:30am.
We consciously decided to start a little later, because we had about 4.5 miles to South Pass City where we were picking up a package at the small general store that didn’t open until 9am. The walk over with light packs felt like a regular morning walk, and it went quickly. We took awhile to go through our boxes, and didn’t get back on the trail until 11am.
After over 150 miles of walking on roads the past week, the trail suddenly became a cross country route, and we found ourselves climbing over a barbed wire fence for the hundredth time on this trip. The trail soon turned to road again, and we followed it until late afternoon where we started into the foothills of the Wind River Range and finally got back to nice single track trail. Water started to become plentiful again, and we got into a good hiking rhythm. We found a spot by a creek by 7pm, and decided to stop for the night. We’d hoped to get a few miles further, but 19.5 miles turned out to be as far as we wanted to go.