Home > Hiking Trails > CDT > CDT – Rawlins to Lander, Great Divide Basin

I must have been high from all the extra oxygen in Wyoming, because I somehow managed to lose my sunglasses.

No Dollar Store in Rawlins so I walked over to the Walmart. Sort of. I got less than halfway there and a guy named Joe had pulled over to offer me a ride. With a big, colorful Catholic bible on the dashboard. So why not?

Wrap around fishing sunglasses aren’t my style, as if I had any, but they were cheap, and I met a few other hikers in town.

There’s also no cell signal here, not for my carrier, and hoping for WiFi I hit the McDonald’s, where the cashier wouldn’t let me pay for my soda.

Not a bad start to the day.

Not sure what kind of maps or prep I’ll need to walk across the Great Divide Basin, but what’s the worst that could happen?

The Great Divide Basin is a section of Wyoming where the rain doesn’t drain towards the ocean as it does on the rest of the Continental Divide. The CDT runs through it from just south of Rawlins to South Pass, and it is high desert. Small shrubs, sand dunes, alkali flats, high winds.

27 miles into the Great Divide Basin I’m cowboy camped off the side of the trail in the middle of nowhere. Still five miles away from water, as I get ready to down my last few ounces.

I’m sore more than I expected. The flowers and the greenery were so bright earlier I thought maybe it was magic. If by magic you think of polarized sunglasses, then yes, it was. I didn’t realize it until I tried to turn my phone sideways for a picture and the screen disappeared.

Passed several southbound hikers, and I thought their common question was funny. “You don’t have headphones?” They asked.

Nope. Just me and the silence.

But I don’t say that. I say that I’m conserving my battery because my maps are on my phone and I don’t have paper backups.

That way I just look stupid, not weird.

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07/20/19
Denver to Rawlins, WY

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