Our last day of hiking in Wyoming has arrived! We’re not the first awake in the campground, there are already shouts and car engines roaring to life at 5 am. We have a big breakfast in Bob and Carol’s camper and drive back to Old Faithful, where we traipse along the many pools and geysers in relative quiet. Once we reach the Summit Lake trail, we meet no more people.
After an initial climb, the trail winds monotonously along a forested plateau. We steam along, excited to finish. It seems to take a long time to reach Summit Lake, where we have lunch.
The trail takes on a more ominous character after that. The plateau has been scorched by fire, so almost a all the trees are dead, and new growth seems minimal. The ground grows dry and rocky. It seems to go on and on like this, leading us to theories of apocolyptic purgatories and demilitarized zones in a war between Wyoming and Idaho. At long last we pass a small hand-drawn “WY/ID” marker on a dead tree, apparently done in Sharpie. We give a quick whoop and steam on. The terrain grows greener at last, and by 4:30 pm we’re at the park boundary, kind of amazed to have made it so quickly. We eat a celebratory dinner, then hike on into the Targhee National Forest of Idaho.
Hiking along forest road 078 at about 5:30 pm, we consider a nice campsite. It seems too early still, so we hike on. At one point I spot a phone tower in the distance, get a signal, and call Bob. Feeling ready to be done, I arrange a pickup for 8 pm tonight. With some added steam, we crank out our longest day of the whole trip to meet Bob on Fish Creek road. The completed trip is then celebrated with treats from the store, a six pack of Moose Drool, and a second dinner at Henry’s Lake State Park. One last night in the tent, and we’ll have all day tomorrow to prepare for our 7pm flight to Denver. It’s over. We did it!