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Rick "Handlebar" Ostheimer
Begins: Jul 3, 2011
Date: Thu, Jul 14th, 2011
Start: 1/2 mi. Above Weasel Spring
End: Cabin at Atlantic City Mercantile
Daily Distance: 29.1
Trip Distance: 150.7
Entry Visits: 534
Journal Visits: 2,117
Guestbook Views: 47
Guestbook Entrys: 2
Last PLB Location
Continental Divide Trail Map
At about 5;30am, I noticed the sun creeping over the horizon, but dozed until 6:45. Then I started my morning pack up routine. I was on the trail at 7:45am. The walking was easy, my pack was light, with only 2 liters of water in my hydration bag and 1 day's food left. I had intended to stop at Upper Mormon Spring to get an addiional liter of water but wound up hiking right by it. The views through rock formations with the Wind Rivee Range, ever closer, in the background were probably what made me miss the spring. By 10am when I stopped briefly to eat a 2nd breakfast, I was already over a mile past the spring having walked over 5 miles. I was surprised how good time I was making.
This section is the route of the Oregon Trail and one of the routes of the California Trail. About 11am three ATV's approached. I chatted with the woman in the lead and the man at the rear who offered me a cold Coke. They live in Atlantic City and had owned one of the restaurants. The man suggested Atlantic City would be too far a hike and I told him I was thinking of stopping near the Sweetwater River where I needed to get water.
I hiked on, still surprised at the excellent time I was making. The trail reached the banks of the Sweetwater where there was another kiosk like the one that gave me a shady resting place yesterday. This one was infested with mosquitos, so I continued on to the bridge that replaced the ford listed on the topo. It would have been an impossible ford due to high runoff from the melt. The bridge was home to an abundance of swallows which kept the mosquitos completely at bay so filtering another liter of water for the hike and 2-1/2 for camp was pleasant. Even so, I had put on DEET as a precaution both against the Mosquitos and ticks. I've been finding one or two ticks crawling on me but not yet embedded each day when I check myself. I credit an application of DEET on my legs for keeping the count low, as this area is notorious for lots of them.
Since the swallows were doing such a good job with the mosquitos, I decided to eat lunch at the bridge. It was only 1:30pm, too early to stop for the day. While eating I checked my maps and it appeared I could make Atlantic City afterall, where town food and a cabin could be had. I still hadn't committed to that destination, though the idea was attractive.
I continued making good time and while taking a break af 5pm, i called ahead since my ETA would be close to closing time at 7pm. It turned out I arrived at 6:45pm and there were other customers. The staff didn't seem rushed to close---there's not much to do in Atlantic City, WY, population 57.
I had a great burger, fries, and several pepsi's, then retired to my cabin, an A-frame cottage. I washed my socks, briefs, and T-shirt. They are hanging on a line. Hopefully they wil be dry by morning. When I took my shower I found 3 ticks and took pleasure in crushing them.
Hiker midnight is again 11pm, but I plan to sleep in tomorrow as the hike to South Pass City where I have a package is short.