July 25th
Yellowstone Campsite 8C5 along Snake River(1814.8)-Yellowstone Campsite 8M2 along Moose Creek(1840.4)
Campsite Elevation: 7,961ft
Today we got to sleep in a bit because our preassigned campsite for the Yellowstone backcountry was only 25.6mi away. We started 15mins later than usual at 7:15am and it felt glorious! It was probably mostly mental, but we really enjoyed it! The miles were pretty easy and we saw a lot more backpackers and trail workers on the trail since we are inching closer to the heart of Yellowstone National Park. We even ran into Cherry Picker and overlapped for a bit before he sped off. We may see him again in the future as his plan is to do some sightseeing and skip around a bit…hence the name. He doesn’t stick to the trail and picks and chooses what he wants to do, doing whatever hiking or hitching is necessary to get it done. We also saw our first southbounder. A guy from Japan named Masa. There is one other person ahead of him we didn’t get to meet in town called Southbound Ken. It’s going to be fun to see all the southbounders including some of my PCT friends going southbound. There are less than thirty of them I think and most started in mid June. This is definitely a northbound year this year as there are about 80 of us I think.
Today was a dry and hot day. The trail was dusty and we finally got to areas that have living trees!

We listened to the audiobook of The Secret Lives of Bees for two or more hours, but other than that, managed to be entertained by the trail. It started to look more like Yellowstone with the, fine white dusty trail, pine trees, hot water pools, smells of sulfur, and lakes.Tomorrow, we will see geysers.

The best part of today was that we got to camp at 5:30pm! Just wonderful! This hardly ever happens with thru hiking and it was fun to feel like we were on a relaxed weekend trip. We had all our camp chores done and were in our tents by 8pm. We haven’t even gotten to camp til after 8pm the last two nights, so it feels great! I even had time to take a bath in the creek by the camp. I’ll be done journaling by 9pm and am sure to fall asleep immediately. It’s a nice break. This campsite is a nicer one than last night and more like what I had hoped for. A nice bed of pine needles, living green trees, and a nice creek I can hear running nearby.

Tomorrow will be a packed and exciting day. Our mileage is set for 24mi to the next assigned campsite. We picked a lower mileage day to give us time to resupply for the next 5 day leg and also to see the sights in the heart of the park. For me, it is especially exciting because my older brother will be meeting me halfway through the day with my nephew and they will hike in to spend a night with me tomorrow night. I am going to try to get going early tomorrow to get a good start on the day, so it’s nice to be going to bed early. Good night:)

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