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Off to Wyoming!

A forum that'll feed your need for exploring the limitless adventure possibilities found in "other" places. Post trip reports or ask questions about outdoor adventures beyond the Sierra Nevada here.
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Re: Off to Wyoming!

Postby Eiprahs » Wed Jul 20, 2016 7:22 am

Be safe. Fires are cropping up. This one is not being attacked directly so is likely to be an issue a long time. CDT closed Dubois area.

http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/4864/
Dave



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Re: Off to Wyoming!

Postby Wandering Daisy » Sat Jul 23, 2016 6:40 pm

Back from the first trip. Exciting moments- face to face with a moose, circled by a wolf, evening visit by a bear. All looked very healthy and beautiful-I think there is a wildlife grooming salon nearby! I was glad to have my bear spray, although I never needed to use it. Also got to arrive back at my car to a flat tire. I have never changed a tire before in my life, so it took over an hour. Luckily a hiker showed up who was able to loosen the lugs.

The trip was challenging. I have never been to most of the area and most travel was off-trail. Navigating was tricky- I missed in a few places; a 5-degree error in direction sent me into a parallel drainage with two lakes that looked just like the two lakes I was trying to get to. After feeling more confused for a mile, I got to viewpoint and saw where I was. So I looped through the Bridger Lakes opposite direction than I had intended- all worked out quite well. I also zoned out going down a less used trail on my way out, missed an unsigned trail junction and missed my intended camp spot at Glimpse Lake. Since it was mid afternoon I decided to just continue on down 2000 feet of switchbacks (no water, no flat ground) for another 3 miles to camp at the Pine Creek Bridge. That goof too turned out to work well- the slope I descended was in the shade in the afternoon and the 2000-foot trail up out of the canyon was shady the next morning- actually the best way to do this logistically!

Lakes and more lakes. I went five days without seeing anyone. And although off-trail, the entire area is loaded with elk/deer/moose trails which means no bushwhacking- just figuring out which trail to go on next. Navigation not so easy as being in timber and instead of distinctive landforms, you go from lake to lake to pond to creek. You just follow the poop from lake to lake! Thank goodness, no bear poop until the last day.

Weather was HOT! Very unusual; thought I was back in the Sierra! Hardly needed a sleeping bag at 11,000 feet. Actually scary. Even after a good snowpack, it melted quickly and it already is drying out - a few fires have started. But flowers were still in bloom - not peak but pretty spectacular. And green - no rules about not camping on vegetation- it is hard to find a flat spot that is NOT covered with grass or groundcover. Huge meadows - a wildlife paradise! Lots of fish, but I did not fish due to the outrageous price of an out-of-state license. I will get plenty of fishing on my next two trips on the Reservation (fishing is basically free because you are required to have a "crossing" permit which doubles as a fishing permit).

No major disasters- just fell flat on my face twice. No damage done. Nice to be solo so not to be embarrassed. I took 250 pictures. A formal trip report will come out next winter.

Off at the crack of dawn Monday to St. Lawrence Basin TH for 7-day trip on the Wind River Indian Reservation. This trip will be more familiar as I have been to most of the area, but am going back to check out current conditions (lots of trail damage due to bark beetle killed trees and a major fire). Carrying my trusty bear spray again. Last time I was in the area was unluckily during a black fly hatch- hope to avoid that this time. One of the worst parts is getting to the trailhead. Four years ago that road killed my other car.

Happy trails everyone!
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Re: Off to Wyoming!

Postby Tom_H » Sat Jul 23, 2016 9:00 pm

Thanks for the update, WD. That territory is an amazing wilderness. Be safe!
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Re: Off to Wyoming!

Postby Wandering Daisy » Fri Jul 29, 2016 6:45 pm

I am back from the second trip. Not the most pleasant, but I did accomplish what I had intended. I came out a day early due to smoke and horrible black flies. Weather was dry, hot and less breeze than I would hope for, so the black flies were bad. Lower elevations were no flies, just the few AM and PM mosquitoes. But above 10,000 feet black flies were thick and swarming. As long as I kept walking, I was OK, but once stopped, they swarmed. Two large fires are burning which made for smoky afternoons, so photos are not great. Fabulous country; wrong timing!

My mission was to walk numerous long ago abandoned trails to see what the last few years of bark beetle damage did. Finding and following the trails required intense concentration. But through the years, small paths around the deadfall have developed and have been carefully marked with rock cairns. The location of the original trails are well blazed (very old blazes). The elk have also done their part in keeping trails open. All in all, for anyone who is a good "trail detective", the routes are still quite do-able. Many lakes, full of fish. But the black flies made fishing miserable so I only fished the lower lakes. Fly fishing was difficult with the shores choked with trees- I caught one fish for every two flies I lost in the trees!

This trip destroyed my favorite hiking pants and an old favorite shirt too. Otherwise, no major damage. My car even made it up the road and back without any damage.

Out again Monday or Tuesday for another even more "Daniel Boon" trip to check out a trail and pass that may have been destroyed by the 2012 Alpine Lake Fire.
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Re: Off to Wyoming!

Postby Wandering Daisy » Sun Aug 07, 2016 4:19 pm

Just got out from the third trip. Caught the largest fish ever after three broke my line and ran off with my flies; and also got nice fish from supposedly "barren" lakes. Absolutely beautiful country. Weather and timing were perfect. Day after I walked 5 hours on a 11,000-foot plateau in perfect weather, the wind picked up and sounded like a freight train! Only casualty of the trip were my glasses- set them down while I washed my face and then stepped on them. Could not read a map for the last two days. Good thing I know the area well! Bugs are becoming less of a problem- black flies almost over with. Saw two groups the first two days and then four days without seeing anyone. Ran into a herd of 75+ elk. Flowers were fantastic. Taking off next week before my last 12-day trip. I hope everyone here is having as much fun as I am. Weather has been unusually good- some times I think I am back in the Sierra, not in the Rockies. Dusting of snow predicted for this next week- good week to be in town.
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Re: Off to Wyoming!

Postby rlown » Sun Aug 07, 2016 7:07 pm

Nice. I've done the celebratory stepping on the glasses. One tired moment where i didn't put them on the daypack like I should have. Hence, I carry a spare set. It's a nasty sound when you know what you just did.

Glad your trip is going well.
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Re: Off to Wyoming!

Postby Wandering Daisy » Mon Aug 08, 2016 6:47 pm

Image
The Fish
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Re: Off to Wyoming!

Postby Wandering Daisy » Mon Aug 08, 2016 6:49 pm

Image
Where I caught it!
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Re: Off to Wyoming!

Postby rlown » Mon Aug 08, 2016 6:54 pm

that is a LOT of fish..
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Re: Off to Wyoming!

Postby Wandering Daisy » Mon Aug 08, 2016 6:54 pm

Image
Where I caught it

Sorry about the wrong photo -moderators- delete the previous post
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Re: Off to Wyoming!

Postby rlown » Mon Aug 08, 2016 6:56 pm

no bears up on the slopes eating moths? tis' the season for that.
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Re: Off to Wyoming!

Postby Wandering Daisy » Mon Aug 08, 2016 7:04 pm

No bears, but there was fresh bear poop at that lake. This lake is managed by the Federal Fish and Wildlife (for the Wind River Indian Reservation). They stock this lake every 4 years. They suspect that most of the small fish are eaten by the big ones. I have never seen a small fish in this lake. Nothing under 12 inches.

The entire attitude of these guys is SO different from that in California. They are not in the business of taking fish out of lakes. In fact, I showed them fish I caught in a set of lakes that are "preferred" to stay barren, but just said "so be it" so few people go there anyway, they will just leave it be. They were also delighted that the fish are doing well. Really great guys.
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