- Jan 23, 2014
Doug and Anita Tour 2014
Wind River Range
It was a beautiful clear night, I know because Anita was outside in the middle of the night, doing whatever girls do in the middle night and she told me so. So I stuck my head outside to check out the beautiful display of stars. Clear and cold to be exact. And it dawned the same way. There's nothing like the warmth of the sun coming over the mountains on those chilly mornings.
> Indian Pass was on the schedule today. We had thoughts of Fremont Peak, but a lot of fresh snow was still visible so we ruled it out.
> One lake? This didn't look right. So I pulled out map and compass and realized we had wandered up the wrong drainage and where at the tarn below Elephant Head.
> No problem, we can work our way down the lake to north and follow the connecting creek to the west and get to the Indian Basin.
> One problem. This is some damn rough terrain and you really have to scope things out to avoid crossing the boulder fields and steep slopes and ledges.
> So we packed up and headed down to Island Lake for the evening.
> There were quite a few tents along the south shore of the lake. But it's a vast area and we had a sweet shady spot right across from the falls.
> Found a nice spot to cast from shore, but skunked again. Oh well. We were beat. Another epic Winds day in the books.
> Woke up to sunshine the next day.
> Our goal today was to get to Upper Jean. We were kinda slow getting out of camp today and then backtracked to much so we ended up putting some miles on.
> We hiked back SE above Island Lake. We also continued up the drainage going away from the lake beneath Mount Lester.
> After a quick camp set up. It was down to the business of catching some fish. And business was good!
> I never caught so many trout in a short time. My hands were freezing from so much catch and release. So all the while we were at Upper Jean. I would whip the water into a frenzy every chance I got. This is what it's all about for me standing below these massive snowcapped peaks, catching these beautiful fish from these crystal clear, cold waters! What a great day it had been. We were beat again. But had huge smiles on our faces. We had the lake to ourselves until a group of 3 arrived late. They were on day 7 of 11. Mostly off trail, we were the first people they seen for some time. They hadn't had any luck fishing so far. I told them their luck was about to change. Later we could hear them whooping it up and laughing as they caught fish too! Can't say it enough. Great day!
> Our plan today was to hike up over Shannon Pass and Cube Rock Pass to check out Peak Lake. So after breakfast and a few casts and a half dozen more trout caught and released, we were off. We met up with the two guys from the other camp. They were older then us and we are 40 something. And they were going to climb one of the peaks across the lake and I thought to myself. Man. ..we are going to have to step it up here. We are day hiking and these old guys are climbing mountains. We both said after that we wished we had went with them. We still had a awesome day but we could have bagged a peak. It didn't take them much longer than our adventure.
> But we had a great day hiking to Peak Lake the Cube Rock Pass area is like a moon scape high above the lake. The sheer vastness of the Winds continues to amaze.
> The wind had picked up considerably and skies started to grey. We thought about the old guys climbing, still saying, we should have tagged along.
> We made it back to camp and the wind was really whipping down Upper Jean. In between gusts I was able to land a few more fish. But decided we should move down to Lower Jean to find some shelter from the elements. With all this wind, you know it's blowing in something.
> As we packed camp the old guys went through and said they had made it to the top and then beat the weather down. They were planning a campfire and fish fry tonight and invited us to join them. We made our way back towards Lower Jean trying to get out of the wind. Most of the trail is above this steep sided lake away from the shore but we did find a nice spot an the south end down near the shore. Nicely out of the wind. Got camp set before the raindrops started and also managed to catch a few fish between squalls. We made good use of our Golite trekking umbrellas today.
> We ate dinner under them in a short hail storm followed by sun then more wind and so on and so forth it went for the rest of evening. Seen a rescue helicopter fly in and out to the SE of us. Later learned that there was two rescues that evening.
> You have to be prepared for anything in the Winds.
> It turned out to be a long night of thunderstorms and lots of wind at times, hoping our tent will withstand. Trying to catch a few winks between rounds. Then waking up to snow sliding off the tent.
> After It had stopped snowing/raining. We were able to grab a quick breakfast. One look at the sky said it could be a wet day. Se we packed up and prepared for a muddy, wet hike. Our plan was to make it back to Hobbs today for our last night out.
> Beer and wine still cold in car..Yay. This definitely calls for toast.
> To Us!
> Made our way back to Log Cabin Motel. And after a much needed shower and to actually sit in a chair.
> We walked over to the Great Outdoors shop to give them our little trip report and to thank them for their help again. Then once again over to the Wind River Brewing for another great meal with fantastic beer.
> We still had a couple days to drive through The Grand Tetons, Yellowstone, Beartooths, and the Bighorns. Just kinda scouting for our next adventure. They all were beautiful. It will be hard to decide.
> Happy Trails!
> Doug and Anita
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