CDT – Days 27 to 29 – The Revenge of Mack’s Inn

DATE:  August 29 – 3120120906-232100.jpg

START:  Campsite OA-1 (close to Lone Star Geyser)

FINISH:  Turpin Meadow (six miles from Togwotee Lodge)

DISTANCE:  86 miles (138.4 km)

DAILY AVERAGE:  28.7 miles (46.1 km)

TOTAL DISTANCE:  940 miles (1512.5 km)

Mack’s Revenge: Whilst speaking to all of those north bounders I mentioned in the previous post, I was informed that two or three south bound hikers whom I had assumed were still three or four days ahead, had unfortunately been waylaid by a nasty case of food poisoning courtesy of Mack’s Inn. I was a little surprised at the news, as I had eaten there myself the previous afternoon and thought the food had actually been pretty good. Fast forward ten hours. For the second night in a row I was awoken from my slumber, however this time it was not some nocturnal canine on the prowl, but instead a far more clear and present danger. Yep, you guessed it, Mack’s Revenge had caught up with me. For the next 12 hours I had it flowing from both ends. Indeed, I couldn’t help but have an ironic chuckle, in so much as my own intermittent eruptions seemed to mimic those far more impressive, although not necessarily more colourful explosions for which the geysers of Yellowstone are renowned. On the mileage front, the day was pretty much a write-off as I staggered, stumbled and dragged my feverish carcass for a little less than fifteen miles, before finally calling it a day on the eastern shore of Shoshone Lake. On a brighter note upon reaching camp I was fortunate to make the acquaintance of a group of interesting folk including Bill and Jen, who together have an accumulated sixty plus years working at Yellowstone, and also a pair of naturalist guides/wildlife photographers, one of whom was a dead ringer for Dennis Miller the comedian.

Forest Fire Detour: Due to a spreading fire in the North Buffalo Fork and South Buffalo Fork area, I was forced to detour off the CDT after the Parting of the Waters. Situated at Two Ocean Pass this National Natural Landmark is where one stream, North Two Ocean Creek, splits into two distributaries, one of which goes to the Pacific, the other to the Atlantic. From this point, I descended west on the Pacific Creek Trail, before turning south on the Box Creek Trail just before beautiful Enis lake. I eventually emerged on FR 30050, a mile and a half west of Turpin Meadows.

A Choice at the End of a Long Day: By the time I reached Turpin Meadows it was almost dark. There was a lodge on the southern side of the bridge and seeing a light on, I decided to go up and ask whether there were any cabins available. An elderly couple, Dusty and Signa, answered the door and informed me that the establishment was closed for renovations. They also mentioned that a couple of other thru hikers, whom I knew to be Yogi and Worldwide, and been there only an hour or so before and were staying at the campground less than half a mile away. No worries. I chatted with the couple for 20 minutes or so, mostly about Norway, Signa’s homeland, and one of the most beautiful countries I have ever visited. Just as I was about to leave, they mentioned that there may be one cabin where I could stay if I didn’t mind it being a little messy. I smiled. So what was it to be; meeting up with some fellow CDTer’s or a bed, shower and roof (there was a storm imminent). I chose the latter. Plenty of time for hiker reunions in the morning.
*Morning came and I departed before dawn for Togwotee. I never did end up meeting Yogi and Worldwide. I think they must have either hitched into Dubois or had boxes waiting at Brooks Lake.

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