Wind River Range August 2018

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blueeyes

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I don’t have time to really write up a story. I took notes on my phone as I went. I have edited them a bit to make more sense and added a few tid-bits. I figured this was kind of funny and better than a fully written trip report that will never happen because I don’t have time. ** indicates added info to my on-trail notes**

I am standing here at Photographer’s Point and I feel like I am a Disneyland and I can’t ride the rides. There is no view for all the forest fire smoke! Worthless…

Buy a gravity filter.

**I was annoyed with pumping water on this trip. I was insanely thirsty the entire trip and became fed up with the speed at which it took for me to get water with my Katadyn pump which is perfect working order. I am just inpatient. I did buy the Katadyn Free and so far love it.**

More salt in my beans and rice meal maybe try dried chicken or meatballs.

**First day **

Good day. My problem with going on these adventures is that I don't want to go back to reality! I want to keep going and stay out here forever.

Zack's tracker said he hiked 9.5 miles. I am going to say that I hiked 8 miles. Feet are tender the tape pulled off the blisters that happened when I backpacked Alaska Basin
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I am shocked at how many people are hiking this trail! Very popular area. Too many for my preference.

Friday morning.**Second Day**

Woke up early too early. Tossed and turned until 6AM. Finally decided to break camp. After getting everything ready to stuff in my pack I retrieved the bear bags the boys hung last night. Made coffee and sat by the lake watching Laurel fish. I can see several fish from where I am sitting. In my opinion you would have to catch a dozen of them to make breakfast.

This is so peaceful. I could sit in this spot all day long and just watch the ripples across the lake. Mesmerizing like watching a camp fire flicker.

Molly and Zack are heading over to fish the other lake. I may finish up my coffee grab a snack and go watch those two fish.

Elevation is making it hard to breathe. Walk up hill just a bit and I have to stop and wait until my heart stops beating so fast. I also feel dehydrated. I am drinking! And peeing every two seconds.

Spam single packs for breakfast! Man I am craving salt. Can't get enough water and I want to devour anything salty.

Llama train Marshall first llama, Doc, Johnny and Ringo last 3 llamas. Group of guys hiking in front of the llamas were sing a song being chased by a llama train.

I am somewhat disappointed today. We only hiked 3 miles and stopped just below Little Seneca and made camp. I really wanted to hike to Island Lake but poor Molly's knee is giving her hell. So here we camp...and honestly I am so ------- tired and hot I am okay with this decision after all.

It is so hot I have stripped to my T-shirt and undies. I am drinking water like mad but cannot get enough.

I need a light weight long sleeve button up shirt. Sun blocker. Light color. Maybe I should use the sunscreen I bring. I am fried.

My companions don't feel they can make it to Titcomb Basin. They just want to fish. Grrrrr, I didn't hike all this way to NOT see that Basin. I will be getting up early in the morning and striking out on my own. Goal is to leave by 7AM be back here by 4PM. It is 10 mile hike round trip. Then break camp and hike back to where we camped yesterday. Good night!
Saturday Morning

I woke up at 5:20 after having nightmares the area we camped was going to flood because of the rain. It started raining at 2:20 and quit around 4. My brain is overactive!

**Zack picked a camp spot that was in what obviously becomes a pond as the snow melts out in the spring. We were in no danger of being flooded out from a rain storm, but my brain felt otherwise. The night before I had a bit of a disagreement with Zach concerning me hiking by myself to Titcomb. Zack is a gentleman and was seriously concerned for my safety. They all wanted to fish, I didn’t bring a pole and sitting around watching them fish all day I would have gone out of my mind. Anyway I got my way on this small disagreement. **

I left camp at 6:20AM from below Little Seneca. I made it to the back of Titcomb basin by 11 am.

**Question asked by two men I passed after Island Lake on my way into Titcomb Basin**

First Gentleman: You don't do this alone do you?
Me: Well… when I have to, I do.
Second Man: Aren’t you worried something will happen?
Me: This place is like Disneyland I have passed multiple groups on the trail this morning. I am not exactly by myself out here. Although I wish I was.
Both: Laugh, smile and tell me to have a good hike.

A storm was starting to build so I ate a quick tuna snack to give me some energy and headed out. I planned on having lunch before hiking out of Island Lake on a rock I remembered passing on my way into Titcomb Basin. The plan was to meet up with my companions at Island Lake somewhere, but I wasn't sure if I would see Clay, Laurel, Zack, and Molly. As I rounded the rock I wanted to lunch on there stood the four of them looking out across the lake towards the other side where I had just hiked back from. I asked them what are you staring at? They said I had impeccable timing. The storm was catching up so I ate my lunch as fast as I could. We climbed up and out and back to camp. Scrambled to pack camp and as soon as we were loaded the storm let loose. It was short lived but cooled everything off. I was dead tired and really didn't want to continue to Hobbs. I argued with Zack and Clay but they refused to let me stay behind. I was pretty much ordered to pack up and get hiking.

Ate dinner and now at 7:05 I am bundled in my sleeping bag ready to pass the ---- out.

Slept like shit last night! Had to pee but stubborn me would not go out in the cold until 4AM. After I peed I slept good and had weird dreams all night long about the forest catching on fire.

**This is where my notes ended because I was flat out exhausted from hiking this day so I will finish.

I won the disagreement to hike into Titcomb Basin, and I could have been a little snot and just refused to pack up camp and stayed one more night at Little Seneca by myself, but that would have been rude of me. It was Zack’s birthday trip. His trip, his plans, I was invited. So I sucked it up and hiked back to Hobbs. This is the hardest hike I have ever done because I have never hiked that many miles in one day on that kind of terrain. I hiked most of it carrying a light pack with water and food but the last 3 miles with my full pack.

All I remember is that my bad knee started hurting it felt like it was packed full of cement. As I got closer to Hobbs there was a soft drizzle and I was damp and getting chilled more from being tired than the rain. In my head I had further to go to reach Hobbs than what was reality. I was certain I had one more decent into a valley then up another huge hill after hiking up and down a few already. I was barely making progress up the current hill. I hadn’t seen my hiking companions for who knows how long at this point and was just by myself in this tired lonely space in my head. I remember Clay coming down from the top of this incline I was dragging my ass up and as soon as I saw him tears just flooded down my face. I couldn’t control them. As Clay reached me I was just sobbing. My bad knee hurt worse than it has in a long time as well as both legs. Clay took my pack, sat me down for a second rubbed my legs and told me that camp was over the top of this hill. I don’t normally break down like that and probably wouldn’t have except, it was Clay. I felt safe losing my composure in front of Clay and I was beyond exhaustion.

Clay helped me get my tent set up and then I made my dinner. I had hiked for 12 hours and went a whopping 16 miles. Slow as a snail. HA!! Whatever… that was a tough day for me. Worth every step to see Titcomb Basin.

My sleep the last night of this trip was worthless. The camp fire smoke funneled right past my tent. I incorporated the smoke smell into my dreams, these dreams became nightmares of the forest going up in flames around us.

This was my first 4 day 3 night backpack trip. My first time in the Wind Rivers. It was amazing. I wish I would have written down more notes on this trip and I am glad I wrote what I did because I had forgotten all of it until I found my notes on my phone last night.**

One thing that seems to becoming a pattern on my big trips are my nightmares. I don’t ever have nightmares at home. I have always had very vivid dreams but usually can control them if they start becoming nightmares. I don’t know if it is because I am so tired or I am really worried when out in the middle of nowhere but the last few trips my dreams have been ridiculous. Someday I will write up the last hike we all did into Dunanda when Clay and Laurel got married. The nightmare on that trip was hilarious!! It had to do with being buried alive in the snow. Does anyone else have nightmares when sleeping under the stars?

Here are the pictures

Day 1
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Views obstructed by all the smoke in the air from fires across the West.

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Pretty much anytime we stopped I found a rock and laid down. Rocks can be rather comfortable.

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Just some fun candid shots of this awesome crew.

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Lakes in the Wind River range are rather photogenic.

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Mmmm dinner
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Day 2
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Coffee sipping by the lake. Watching the ripples and the tiny fish.
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Llama Train!
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Just laying around watching everyone fish
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I earned some fish by helping gut the fish for dinner.
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Day 3 My hike into Titcomb
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Packing up camp.
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Day 4
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Morning Camp Face! I look pretty rough. LOL
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Love these guys!!!

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View at photographers point was better on our way out.
 

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Titans

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The Titcomb photos are my favorite. That area looks beautiful. The painful knees- I'm guessing that was after a lot of steep descending or?

You asked about nightmares when sleeping outdoor... I have little experience with that since we only did 3 nights recently. Having said that- we would both get unusual and very vivid dreams on our scuba diving trips in the past. We would do 3 dives per day for 7-10 days or longer and both experience vivid dreams. It doesn't happen to that extend, when we just hike a lot.

Do you think maybe the altitude combined with hiking with a backpack (extra weight) had something to do with how you felt on this trip? Altitude can really mess up a lot, unless you are really used to it. I don't remember what altitude you live at now? For us, living at almost sea level, we usually need some days in Denver at 5,300 ft before we can hike at 10,000-12,000 ft (and then it's fairly slow going).
 

blueeyes

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The Titcomb photos are my favorite. That area looks beautiful. The painful knees- I'm guessing that was after a lot of steep descending or?
Yes there was a lot of up and then down. I can go up all day long, but going down even when I am careful how I place my foot and what not it eventually starts to irritate my knee.

My favorite photos are the ones I took the day I hiked into Titcomb too. It was a beautiful day even as the storm moved in, I loved the moodiness of it all.

You asked about nightmares when sleeping outdoor... we would both get unusual and very vivid dreams on our scuba diving trips in the past. We would do 3 dives per day for 7-10 days or longer and both experience vivid dreams. It doesn't happen to that extend, when we just hike a lot.
I would get nightmares after scuba diving!! I use to think that was something I wanted to do until I took a class and was scuba certified. I very much dislike it. I wish I did like it but I don't.

Anyway... I know the altitude was difficult for me. I was in the process of moving from Idaho to Utah when I left for this trip both places (Ammon ID and Clearfield UT) sit at about 4,500. I believe that hike starts at around 9,000. I know elevation does some odd things, never thought that could have been a contributor to two nights of nightmares. You would think as tired as I am after hiking long distance or biking I would just pass out!
 

Wanderlust073

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If you had to do it again - would you still buy the BeFree, or invest that money in a llama!

:p
 
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Born to Hike

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I had a few laughs reading your TR - very real! Fun pics too! I was in the Winds twice this year and both times super smokey, but still worth it!

Electrolyte pills (while drinking lots of water, of course) work wonders when taken every 1 to 2 hrs during a strenuous hike - especially when the air is thin and dry like up in the Winds. People loose water and electrolytes faster than they think: I've seen people who are in excellent physical shape collapse from leg cramps, hallucinating/losing their minds, and not be able to hold water in their bellies because they didn't keep up with the loss of salt in their systems.

Sorry about the bum knee, but good job soldiering thru it!
 

blueeyes

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I had a few laughs reading your TR - very real! Fun pics too! I was in the Winds twice this year and both times super smokey, but still worth it!

Electrolyte pills (while drinking lots of water, of course) work wonders when taken every 1 to 2 hrs during a strenuous hike - especially when the air is thin and dry like up in the Winds. People loose water and electrolytes faster than they think: I've seen people who are in excellent physical shape collapse from leg cramps, hallucinating/losing their minds, and not be able to hold water in their bellies because they didn't keep up with the loss of salt in their systems.

Sorry about the bum knee, but good job soldiering thru it!
Yes on the electrolyte pills!!!! I keep forgetting to buy some and just add them to my kit. I have used them before and they really help more than people give them credit.

I like Elete electrolyte fluid when I bike but taking that on a backpack or bikepack trip isn't good. I need the pills.

The knee is an issue now and again. Usually do fine but that many miles in one day...it just wasn't happy.

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Dreamer

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Fun to read and see your trip. Glad you didn’t get held up and went on to Titcomb.
 

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gnwatts

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Those llamas are contakerous!

Be Free... I just need to get out and use it more.

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Great report, I loved your photos. Sorry about all of the pain, the knees especially. It looks like it was worth it.
I once got spit on by a llama. A disagreeable experience. He looked so cute.
 

Miya

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I can't wait to see that area in person one day! So beautiful!
Sorry about your nightmares! I have excessive nightmares and occasional night terrors, but luckily, haven't had any on trail yet.
Loved your photos! Some of them really cracked me up. You look so happy gutting the fish! :D
 

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