Hiker Hostel

I didn’t get much sleep at the fire station.  I just bought my bear spray and was warned by everyone I about traveling at night.  I also saw some signage just down the road warning about ferrell dogs and wolves in the area.  It was cold and rained most of the night and I was a little jumpy.  The rain stoppped around five and I was up and around by 6 but didn’t leave until the sun was high enough to warm everything up.  It was 40 degrees when I woke up.  This was the first time I layered up with my leg warmers, arm warmers, scarf, and jacket.  I wanted to make it up the pass into the Tetons before the wind got too strong and planned to camp at a picnic area at the top.

The thirty miles to Dubois was a steady, but easy climb.  Once in Dubois I scouted around for lunch and settled on a BBQ shack on the outskirts of town.  As soon as I pull in my front tire starts hissing.  The old man there told me about the bike shop in town.  The bike shop was a small lean too building off of the Napa Auto store.  The were closed for lunch so I went ahead and fixed my flat and waited for them to open to get a new tube.  Inside, I met John, the local hiker and biker hostile operator.  I call it a hostel because it has that community feel of travelers coming and going and supporting one another.  It is actually an outreach from one of the churches.

John took me in and gave me the tour and introduced me to everyone.  Everyone, being through-hikers on the Continental Divide Trail stretching from Mexico to Canada, or vice-versa.  There were three couples in the house and solo hiker.  It was great to hear each of their stories and to learn about what they were doing.  They travel the same distance with the same amount of gear all on their backs.  Cycling cross country doesn’t seem as hard after talking with them.  One, did tell me that cycling was much more dangerous because of the traffic and that hikers don’t die on the trail but on the road trying to hitch a ride back to town.  

After my education on through-hiking, I dropped one of my spare tires in the hiker/biker box and mailed home my hammock mosquito net.  The hiker community is awesome.  Dubois is one of the resupply hubs and hikers going North and South all meet here to recharge.  There are other hubs like this along the trail and each with a hiker box that people can drop or collect gear or food from.  I also dropped my stakes that I acquired in Douglas and some other items and picked up a piece of foam sleeping pad in place of my small foam pad.  I replaced the stakes with some I found at an outfitter in town.  

In the evening, two cyclists rolled in from the East heading into Jackson.  They stayed the night and I got a chance to compare gear and rides.  I am still convinced that I have a good setup and am traveling much lighter than most.  I am the only one out here traveling without a cookset.  After having a kitchen for a day I momentarily thought about getting a stove, even though what I cooked was my mango salad I call ceviche. 

Margot, Arrow, Green Bay, and Jasper

For dinner, me and two of the couples threw together a bunch of food and made burritos.  I am not the only one that will put anything inside of a tortilla and eat it.  The night went on and eventually we all settled down for bed.  Hiker midnight, as they call it, is 9 PM.  One of the guys had been preparing two loaves of bread and they came out some time after 9, so we all gathered in the kitchen to sample it.  Afterwards, two hikers, two cyclists and I all set up our beds in one of the common areas.  

3 thoughts on “Hiker Hostel

  1. Patrick “Foxy” M

    It is amazing how you are finding these places, and the timing with the tire is phenomenal. There is a hot springs in a valley near Dubois that is way back in the woods and is kind of smelly but it is one of my fondest memories. I would probably be able to find it again given a whole day. It would be cool to camp near a hot springs.

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