Zippy is actually hundreds of miles past Wyoming, but I had been too busy to write. Still am… so the photos will do the heavy lifting today.
The finale of Colorado, at its northern border, was the Rocky Mountains National Park, including these astonishing blue columbine:
And then he marched into Wyoming, land of flat jeep roads, long vistas, cow pastures, and as a result, questionable water sources. We have few photos of the flat roads, because honestly, why photograph that? But do not be fooled: there is plenty of the CDT that is not dramatic or stunning. There is a bit of drudgery involved.
On the road to Rawlins, Zippy came around a bend and heard little whizzing sounds on either side of him. He’d heard gunshots earlier, target practice, and realized that he was in the line of fire. He jumped onto a hillock and waved his hands for the marksmen to stop. (I would’ve dropped to the ground and shouted, but to each his own.) Thankfully, they saw him, and were properly aghast.
Zippy kept a wise distance from the creature, who looks as though she is regrowing some quills. He is in good health, and unscathed except for a bruised knee, which he acquired while climbing a fence in the Winds. He tripped on the top and fell off the other side, on his knee, on a rock. And onward…
And then came Yellowstone. I had hoped to meet Zippy there and hike with him, but the logistics didn’t work out. And I confess to feeling very jealous – a rare emotion for me – when I learned that he had scored a room in the Old Faithful Inn.
He’d walked up, exhausted, many days since sleeping anywhere except his tent, and asked if they happened to have an opening. “No,” she said, then “Oh wait!” Despite high tourist season, there was a cancellation. He got to chatting with the seasonal staff as they booked his stay, and they were curious and fascinated to learn about his journey. He was the first thru-hiker they’d ever met. (Although there are at least four northbound hikers farther along than J.: Double Magic, Mammoth, and these two dudes from the Bitterroot, but apparently none of them had asked for a room at the Old Faithful Inn.) And when Zippy checked out the next day, refreshed, he learned that they must have given him an amazing discount, as his bill was $40 less than expected. Very kind!
So that’s it for now. Idaho is next… in which we are finally reunited after three months apart!