Trip Pictures

Squaretop Mountain

Squaretop Mountain

David getting his pack

on

Getting it closer

Almost there

David looks so happy

with his 45 lb pack

Bridger Wilderness

Photographer's Point

Photographer's Point

Photographer's Point

Photographer's Point

Photographer's Point

Photographer's Point

Photographer's Point

Moose

Moose

Moose

Seneca Lake

Seneca Lake

David @ Little Seneca

Lake

David @ Little Seneca

Lake

David @ Little Seneca

Lake

David @ Little Seneca

Lake

Sunset @ Little Seneca

Lake

Sunset @ Little Seneca

Lake

Seneca Lake

Little Seneca Lake

Little Seneca Lake

Winds

Winds

Winds

Infinity Pool?

Infinity Pool?

Infinity Pool?

Infinity Pool?

Infinity Pool?

Winds

Indian Pass

Winds

Island Lake

Island Lake

Me @ Island Lake

Me @ Island Lake

Island Lake

Stream

Island Lake

Clear water

Island Lake

Island Lake

Island Lake

Island Lake

Island Lake

Island Lake

Island Lake

Island Lake

Island Lake

Lake

Lake

Lake

River

River

Titcomb Basin

Titcomb Basin

Titcomb Basin

Titcomb Basin

Titcomb Basin

Titcomb Basin

Flowers @ Titcomb

Basin

Titcomb Basin

Titcomb Basin

Titcomb Basin

Titcomb Basin

Marmot

Titcomb Basin

Titcomb Basin

Titcomb Basin

Titcomb Basin

Titcomb Basin

Titcomb Basin

Titcomb Basin

David rock hopping

David rock hopping

Lake

Island Lake

Island Lake

Lake

Lake

Winds

David enjoys the

morning view

Lake

Lake

Lake

Photographer's Point

Photographer's Point

Photographer's Point

Photographer's Point

Photographer's Point

Photographer's Point

Tetons

Tetons

Tetons

Tetons

Tetons

Tetons

My truck @ the Tetons

My truck @ the Tetons

Tetons

My truck @ the Tetons

Jackson Lake

Jackson Lake

Thermal pool

Geyser

Morning Glory Pool

Morning Glory Pool

Morning Glory Pool

Morning Glory Pool

Morning Glory Pool

Morning Glory Pool

Upper Geyser Basin

Thermal pool

Thermal pool

Thermal pool

Black bear

Black bear

Yellowstone

Wind River Range, WY

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The week of 5 Aug 07 David and I took a backpacking trip to the Wind River Range in

Wyoming.  We started at the Elkhart Park trailhead and headed up to Titcomb Basin.  I was

little apprehensive about hiking this trail, because I was worried that it would be too crowded

for my liking.  The trailhead was expectedly crowded, and most of the people on the trailhead

registration said they were going to Titcomb Basin...but we pressed ahead, anyway.  Before

starting, we picked up a bear canister at the ranger station in Pinedale.  They're required if

food can't be hung, and we planned to camp above tree line.  Turns out that we never did

camp completely above tree line, which means we each hauled a bear canister (I bought one

at REI, but quickly returned it after the trip after realizing I would never really need it) for

nothing.  Oh well.  We also each got a fishing license for three days...we only fished for about

2 hours on one day, and didn't catch anything.  Oh well.  The weather report on Sunday

looked questionable, calling for a 40% chance of severe thunderstorms.  That pretty much

means the forecaster has no idea what's going to happen.  We waited out one storm at the

Green River Lake trailhead, and then headed to our trailhead hoping that was the last storm of

the day.  It wasn't.  We started late in the afternoon on Sunday, and took it slow since David

was coming from Tennessee and I didn't want the elevation to kill him.  We did about 3 miles

and then started looking for a campsite.  It took considerably longer to find a campsite than

usual (David's GPS said we hiked over a mile off-trail looking for a site), but eventually we did

find one, just in time for a rain storm.  After waiting out the rain storm, we set up camp and ate

just in time for a thunderstorm.  We watched the storm approach for a while, and then, worried

this was the big storm the weather had predicted, we took cover in the woods.  I made us wait

it out outside the tent, because there was a lot of lightning, and I think David loved sitting out in

the dark woods while the storm raged around us.  Good times!  But everything was fine, and

we went to bed after the storm passed, and headed out the next morning.  We passed quite a

few people on the trail the next day.  Photographer's Point was really cool, and we could see

up into the range where we were headed.  We saw David's first ever  moose at one tarn, and

we basically just took it slow going up and down the undulating trail.  Another storm hit us at

Seneca Lake, and the ascents and rain were taking their toll on David, so, after one

particularly close lightning strike, we took cover and decided to go ahead and make camp at

Little Seneca Lake.  We made camp, did some fishing, and basically just took it easy.  David

was not enjoying all the storms, and he was worried that his legs were being worn out by the

ascents, so we decided to day hike from camp to Titcomb Basin the next day and then decide

what to do.  So we got up early on Tuesday and hiked to Titcomb.  Up until Little Seneca Lake,

the trail hadn't been anything special...it wasn't anything you wouldn't find anywhere else in the

Rockies.  But after climbing the saddle over Little Seneca, the trail became awesome.  The

views above and at Island Lake were incredible, and you could just lie a stare at Titcomb Basin

all day.  The place was really amazing.  There was just one major drawback: the area was

freakin' CROWDED.  I mean, we saw dozens and dozens of people around and near Island

Lake.  I had expected to see more people than I liked, but there were more people than I

imagined.  And it was really weird, because I have developed a firm opinion that if you hike

more than 3 or 4 miles from a parking lot, then you will leave behind everyone but the die-

hards.  And here we were, nearly 13 miles from the closest trailhead, and we probably saw

about 100 people in four days on the trail.  So I have modified my theory: the Winds are Mecca

for die-hard backpackers.  I mean, we ran into people from literally all over the country, and

they were on the trail for about a week in most cases.  That never happens anywhere else.

So, I think, most of the time we die-hard backpackers are spread out in lots of different places

throughout the wilderness areas throughout the country.  But some of those backpackers

periodically converge on the grandiosity of the Wind River Range.  Of course, it earned the

Mecca status...it was really, really pretty.  But I would like to find a time to go when it's not quite

so crowded.  Of course, we may have hit a particularly crowded week because it was the last

week or so before school started back, and there were a lot of teenagers with their parents.  I

don't know.  But after spending a few hours at Island Lake and Titcomb Basin, we hiked back

to camp.  David was feeling pretty good, but he wanted to see Yellowstone, so we packed up

and hiked about 3 miles back Hobbs Lake and found a nice campsite.  We got up the next

morning and hiked the remaining 6 miles back to the trailhead.  The backpacking part of the

trip was really amazing.  Somehow I developed my first blister in 10 years.  I think my boot

inserts are getting worn out.  I put a band-aid blister pad on it before it turned into a blister, but

it didn't keep it from getting worse, so I ended up throwing mole skin on it which actually felt

better.  But the blister didn't really hurt that badly, so I was fine.  I also finally learned how to

effectively use a hiking pole, so that was a good learning experience.  I certainly now see how

beneficial they can be...especially with heavy loads.  My pack (which was packed for a 5 night

trip) started out at 48 lbs...heavier than I would have liked, but that included the unused 3 lb

bear canister and the water I started with.  So, after leaving the trail and returning the bear

canister, we headed to Jackson, WY.  We stayed in a hotel, and drove around the Tetons a

little.  We saw a grizzly in the Tetons, which was the first grizzly I've ever seen there.  We got

up Thursday morning and checked out the Tetons some more, and even though it was more

crowded than I've ever seen the park, it reminded me how much I really like it up there.  Then

we drove up to Yellowstone, and I showed David all the regular touristy spots.  I finally saw

Morning Glory pool, which was pretty cool.  David really liked the thermal pools at the Upper

Geyser Basin.  He got to see his first grizzly at the Tetons and his first elk and bison in

Yellowstone.  After driving around Yellowstone, we drove back to Salt Lake in the middle of the

night, and got in about 2 am on Friday.  On Friday we just cleaned up our gear while waiting

on Tracy to get off work, and then we drove down to southern Utah to watch a meteor shower

in the desert.  We hiked a little in Iron Wash in the middle of the night, which, of course, I love

doing, and we star-gazed for a good while outside Goblin Valley.  We saw some great meteors

in the shower, including one that was really big and exploded, lighting up the entire desert.  I

love being in the desert at night...it's so quiet...so dark...so isolated...and the stars are so

bright.  We spent the night in Green River, and then we showed David around the high points

of Arches and Canyonlands.  We drove back to Salt Lake on Saturday night, and David left

Sunday morning.  I had a great week, and I think David enjoyed his first backpacking trip into

the Rocky Mountains.  I've decided that next summer I might try several 4 day weekends

instead of one full week that wears me out after 4 days, anyway.  And while I think the Winds

were awesome, I'll probably stick to more secluded trails for the future big trips.