Friday, October 21, 2011
Wyoming is Still Wonderful
In case there were any doubts, that is. I can't believe it's been four weeks since we were there (again!), but so it goes. With a third visit under our belts, I noticed a few things: I'm learning my way around the Salt Lake airport, as well as the freeways in and out. The exit at Park City for lunch and groceries? The empty exit that takes us north? Four hours later, the turn off the county road that takes us to the ranch house? Check, check and ... check (grateful for daylight on the last one!).
We spent the first full day riding on the ranch, which was plenty swell. There was alot of sky, alot of grass ...
... and alot of sage.
See that white sliver at the middle-right? That's Kara's house. Yes, We're still on her property:
We had a tagalong that day, a cutie-pie pony, who was energetic enough that he surely put on a couple more miles than we did. He ran way ahead at first, and then thought better of it. I think he was secretly relieved to be haltered and then ponied along for the rest of the trip.:
The heck with Waldo. Where's the moose? Right there in in the scrub -- that smudge of brown and the glint (the paddle of an antler) -- a cow and yearling were to the left of the frame. I'd not seen a moose before, so this was cool.
We worked our way to the top of Merna Butte -- funny how it's always a steeper climb than it looks at the bottom -- I made it handily in no small part to this guy, Big Red.
This is lunch with a view. Looking east and north-ish from the top of the butte. That's the Wind River range pressed against the horizon. Pretty swell, eh?
On Saturday, it was off to Glimpse Lake with a bigger group. A friend of ours who lives on the other side of the Winds drove down and around 'em to spend Saturday and Sunday with us. We hadn't seen him for a few years, so it was a fun surprise. The teeth-jarring drive to the trailhead became worth it early on. This was minutes into the ride. Those are the Winds, much closer this time:
Twisting slightly to the right after taking the photo above, a clear view of Fremont Lake, which we followed for awhile up high, until dropping back down and into the trees.
So, Michelle. I have some major hat envy. To say nothing of your handsome horse. Hi, Wizard.
This would be a parking lot, back-country style.
Nice place for lunch and a beverage, don't you think?
The Fort Robinson bunch. My dirty knee is a nice touch.
Next stop? Trapper Lake, where it was easier for the horses to cool their heels. Or knees. Valentine, there on the left, wasn't so keen on the idea, but Sage/Steve and Wizard/Michelle didn't even break stride till they got where they wanted to be.
Somewhere in the Bridger wilderness, between Trapper Lake and the trailhead, there is a tube of my favorite chapstick. If you find it, uh, leave it be. I might or might not have dozed off on the way back to Pinedale. This was looking out my window of the truck:
On Sunday, off to Hoback Junction, then a right turn, a left turn and a couple of rocky miles before parking the trailer. Not long after we got in the saddle, we came across a couple of hunting parties packing out meat. We tried to invite ourselves for dinner, but we couldn't get anyone to agree. Funny that ...
So, on we went, through the brush -- willows in Wyoming -- rubbernecking, chatting
and following Shoal Creek headed for Shoal Falls.
Yes, this is real. And yes, it's difficult to fit into a camera frame.
We tied the horses deep in the woods in the background and hiked and scrambled and scrambled some more to the spot near the falls where we had lunch and, um, more beverages.
We tackled the world's problems -- glad we got that all sorted out! -- and yes, it was pretty funny. Michelle isn't the only one who can rock a cowboy hat!
A few more pictures, for good measure. It's difficult to see, but the slabs were lined up like slices in a loaf of bread.
We won't talk about our misadventure getting back to the horses. We were not lost. We weren't! Let's say we took a walk before riding back out. It was just as beautiful heading out as it was heading in.
We kept trying to cram it all into a camera frame, of course.
Kara came close with this one. If I had to pick a single favorite image from the trip, this would have to be it:
Thanks, Kara, for another great weekend. Happy Trails.