Wyoming 2010-09






 Wyoming Excursion

(Wind River Mtns and Snowy Range)


September 2010



 Click here for past trip essays.

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The southern Wind River Range near the Big Sandy Entrance



To say that the Wind Rivers in northwest Wyoming are remote is a just a bit of an understatement... kind of like saying that Kansas is flat or that my son plays far too much Modern Warfare 2.  But it was not remote enough to not get NPR in perfectly the whole trip.


Getting to the Big Sandy Trailhead (just below the darker mountain just left of center) requires driving on over 30 miles of dirt/gravel roads plus nine miles at the end on a road that is almost unsuitable for a sedan.  I say almost because  the 1x1 inch chunk ripped out of my back tire did not explode on the 1,300 mile trek home.  For which I am thankful.










Moonrise over Laruntio Mountain, Wind River Mtns



"Hiker Forgets Water Purification System... Spends Two Weeks on the Toilet" could have been the headline here but at least I made one right decision.  After forgetting my MIOX system (hey, look at that... it was in my garage the whole time!), drinking all 160 ounces of water I had brought with me and not having enough gas to boil water and eat I called it a day after one night.  Bummer.  All that planning to have it come crashing down so easily.


The full moon was few days away but showed up right on time on my single night out in the Winds.










Sunset in the East Fork Valley, Fish Creek Park, Wind River Mtns



The Wind Rivers are remote, quite large, high and at times, intimidating.  The range "proper" is 80 by 25 miles and contains the highest concentration of glaciers (63) in the lower 48 outside of Washington state. It also has the highest peak in Wyoming (no, it is not the Grand Teton).


The East Fork Valley pictured above, one of many in the range, is ringed in by six 12,000+ peaks.  It is not frequented too much given that it is a 13 mile hike to get in there and the fact the Cirque of the Towers, a much more popular area, is gained from the same trailhead.


Click here for more info on the Wind River Mountains.










Moonlight Photography - Medicine Bow Peak, Snowy Range



The Snowy Range, in the southern part of the Medicine Bow Range in southeast Wyoming, is an idyllic setting high above the ranchlands of Laramie and Saratoga.  While small, it is certainly not short on scenery.  I figured that this area was the next best thing to the Wind Rivers so I drove on up to them after my water fiasco the day before.


Here, at just before midnight, I decided that my W.E.B Griffin book could wait and ventured out of my tent to shoot the moon.  Or at least the light of the moon.  The above 5-minute image was actually taken precisely at midnight.










Anticipating Sunrise on "Old Main", Snowy Range



Autumn was leaving as I made my way into the heart of the range... only a few yellows were left.  To be fair though, at over 10,800 feet above sea level, only evergreens grow so there are not too many options for color.









Sunset on Libby Lake, Snowy Range



Nothing much to say here except I really like this image.









Self Portrait (without the "self"), Snowy Range



I was asked by a friend if I could include me in some shots.  I typically don't include people, me or otherwise, in my photography because I want to convey the wildness of wilderness or near wilderness... and people just kind of ruin that feeling.  So here I compromised - that is my car... but I am not in it.










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