2016 Day 3 (07/30/16)

Our tents are Alps Mountaineering Lynx 1 light-weight tents. They weigh about four pounds total with the tent, rain fly, poles and some stakes. In order to cut some weight, we left some stakes, the stake bag, and the tent bag at home. It cut about 6 ounces. Every ounce counts. There are only 16 ounces in a pound. It doesn’t take many adjustments like that to really make a difference.

The tent dimensions are 7’6″ long and 2’8″ wide with a center height of 3′. They certainly are not for those with claustrophobia issues.

I changed into my long johns every night. Not only did that keep me warmer, but it was nice to put on some relatively clean clothes each night to sleep in. I only wore them for bed so it also kept my sleeping bag cleaner.

My nightly routine was to make sure our devices were all charged. I would often be up for another couple of hours rotating devices on the Goal Zero Sherpa 100 Power Pack. During the day I would recharge the Sherpa with the Goal Zero Nomad 20 Solar Panel.

We carried about 14 pounds of electronics equipment and wanted to keep all of it running so that we could document our adventure. Check out our Yellowstone Equipment List for more details about all of our gear.

Our second night in the backcountry was much the same as the previous night. The temperature got down to about 41 degrees Fahrenheit. It was pretty quiet and we didn’t hear any wildlife during the night.

We woke up about 6:30 AM, changed and packed up our tents. We headed to the cooking area, once again hopeful that our food would still be hanging. It was! After eating breakfast we got on the trail about 8:15 AM, but had to make a stop at the creek to process water for the day. It was about 9:00 AM by the time we were across the creek and on our way.

On Day 3 we left Yellowstone Lake behind us and started heading for the Yellowstone River. Our destination was campsite 6D2 right along side Mountain Creek at an elevation of 7,890 ft. We didn’t see any other people on Day 3.

We hoped to eat lunch at the Cabin Creek Patrol Cabin. Unfortunately, we missed the side trail to it by about a mile. We decided to back track so that we could check out the cabin. We got back to the area where the cabin was supposed to be, but couldn’t find it. As it turns out, the cabin no longer exists. It was probably burnt down during a forest fire. We ate lunch in that area and then got back on the trail. Unfortunately, that added another couple of miles, and a couple of hours of walking, to our day.

Portions of our day were once again spent in some smaller pine forests.

We continued to see tracks and other signs of animals on the trail.

The scat below is likely from a fox or a coyote. There is clearly evidence of the hair from their prey.

We also continued to see a lot of different types of birds.

And flowers.

Much of the Thorofare had been burnt by a forest fire. This makes for a combination of new growth with dead trees that have been burnt but haven’t fallen yet.

This tree had burned clear through, but hadn’t fallen.

The below pictures are of the Yellowstone River.

Beautiful scenery, but this section below was pretty intense due to the heat. A good portion of Day 3 was in open areas with the Sun beating down on us.

We had our first campfire this evening. The most exciting part of Day 3 was when Zachary sprayed himself with his bear spray. Earlier in the evening he had gone away from camp by himself to search for a good place to set up our tents. He had taken the safety off his bear spray so that it was ready if he needed it. When he got back into camp he put it in his pocket and forgot to put the safety back on. While collecting fire wood he stepped up on a log which depressed the trigger in his pocket. Unfortunately, the nozzle was pointing directly at his groin. He stripped down to his underwear quickly and jogged to the creek to wash off. He spent the next 90 minutes washing off in the creek, under our shower bag, and washing his clothes off. Obviously, he turned out to be ok and it was really pretty funny once I knew he hadn’t gotten it in his eyes. However, it was a reminder of how quickly things can go bad in the backcountry. It is important to always be on your A game when this far away from help. This has forever earned him the trail name “Grizzly Tough Nuts”.

We stayed up past midnight trying to get some good night shots of the sky. This is about the best we could do.

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