Yellowstone's Thorofare and the Teton Wilderness 08/09/2023 - 08/18/2023 Part Five / Day Five

TractorDoc

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Day Five -- August 13, 2023.

Technically, we were behind schedule at day five. That was ok because by the end of the day we would be ahead of schedule. I do not think anyone in the group was worried about schedules. . . I doubt any of us even knew what day of the week it was by now. All we needed to be concerned about was making progress up the Thorofare Creek drainage and finding another suitable campsite for the night. If only life could always be that simple. :)

Morning view of the ridge from our Open Creek campsite.

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Walking away from your pack for even a few minutes is risky with this group. Some jokester thought they could slow me down by sneaking a rock in there. All I can say is paybacks gentlemen. Paybacks. :devil:

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We were back in the trees for a time during the morning hours.

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The trail passed over some high ground away from Thorofare Creek.

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Hidden Creek flows between the two hills at center left. True to its name we never saw it. Last night's campsite was intended to be near the junction of Thorofare and Hidden Creeks; today we were supposed to be taking a day hike up Hidden Creek and spend the night at the same campsite. Once we past Hidden Creek today we would be ahead of schedule. . . technically. ;)

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One has to experience the forest now and again to appreciate the big views.

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Today's journey took us thru a lot of tree cover compared to the days prior. It was a warm day, so I welcomed the shade. It also brought us closer to Thorofare Creek, taking us right along the water's edge in places.

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Critter tracks everywhere. Thought this was a good one for day five -- grizzly tracks coming and going!

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Did the trail veer away from the creek, or did the creek meander away from us? :thinking:

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I cannot remember if this is Pass Creek or Butte Creek.

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@scatman showing off some fine rock hopping skills. That next one looks a little far. . . :)

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Wildflowers and clover were everywhere.

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Today was definitely about getting to know Thorofare Creek.

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There may have been a high route but I followed @scatman along the rocky creek bank instead.

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We would eventually take a path that rewarded us with great views of Thorofare Creek's curves.

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Cannot quite squeeze the entire horseshoe in with the big camera.

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So I used the cell phone and GoPro. It is good to have options.

Cell Phone:

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The GoPro shot might be my favorite picture of the day. :)

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We were back and forth from the creek many times this day. Away from the creek:

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Near the creek. A sunscreen break for Hugh is the equivalent of a nap break for @Bob . :sleepy2:

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I was too impressed with the parallel lines created by these gravel bars to take a nap.

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Trees began to give way to a view later in the day.

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@scatman in his happy place. :scatman:

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The lichens on these rocks came out of nowhere to added a vibrant pop of color to all the greenness. Makes me hungry for a Circus Peanut. . . :tongue:

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Wildlife sighting!

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The next stretch of trail crossed patches of lush grasses.

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The view as we approached Woody Creek. It was near here that we decided to setup camp for night number five.

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I don't know that I remember crossing Woody Creek, but Thorofare Creek was just a walk thru the willows away from our campsite.

The view downstream:

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The view upstream:

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Tent site for night number five. This was an okay campsite. . . it would have been a lot better if we had not decided to camp in what was probably a horse pasture for a nearby outfitter's camp. We did not see the outfitter setup until hiking out on day six though.

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Today's group shot. @Jackson will have to let us know if we've softened a bit. . . but I doubt @scatman ever will. (You have to read day four for context.) :)

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Dinner for Day Five. The flavor of the Backcountry Bison Bowl reminded me of something I'd order from a Mexican Restaurant.

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Hugh probably considers this day to be the "real" start of the trip because it was on this afternoon that he spotted his first Grizzly Bear. Everything up to now was just a warmup. :D He was walking down to Thorofare Creek for water when he says he chased a bear out of the willows. Of course the bear had disappeared by the time the rest of the group made it down to the creek, but there was still some nice scenery to see.

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After Hugh's bear sighting we sat and looked up the Thorofare Creek Valley in hopes of seeing more wildlife. This is not the exact view we had, but very close. I think that is Yellow Mountain peeking above the dark hillside at the far right. That would be the direction we would head tomorrow.

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I will admit that I can be a high maintenance hiker. I like to wash off the heat, dirt, and sunscreen of the day before turning in for the night if I can. Up to now I was able to jump into a nearby creek or river to accomplish that task, but Thorofare Creek was too shallow at this spot for an evening swim.

That was ok, because I had a plan B. I packed along a small dry bag that has a spigot on the end and doubled as a shower. I had filled it and let it sit in the sun shortly after arriving at camp. The sun warmed the water enough to make rinsing off enjoyable. I hung the heated water bag in a nearby tree and did not use but a fraction of what it held. I offered to let the rest of the group use the extra water, but they had either already taken a sponge bath or were simply just tougher than me. Oh, that is a fresh pile of Grizzly scat on the trail that you see. I thought it added a little something to the experience. :)

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Day five was a good day. I had enjoyed some impressive moments on day four and that may have overshadowed part of the experience on day five. Some of the today's memories become a little fuzzy when replaying them in my head. The horseshoe bend of Thorofare Creek and our time at the campsite were today's highlights. We had some nice views here and there, but experiencing the wild solitude of Thorofare Creek and the valley that surrounds it best describes this day for me.

I was feeling great and the group's morale was good, but would that be enough to get us thru tomorrow? Day six was going to tell me if my training had been sufficient for some elevation gain. Day six we planned on getting high! o_O

GPS Track for Day Five.

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Day Six is in the works!
 
I swear that it wasn't me with that rock, not going to drop a dime on the actual evil doer though :)

This day sort of blended together, the scenery was great, but not as good as the day before or maybe I was getting acclimatized to the Thorofare :)

I'm surprised by the low mileage, I was definitely ready for camp even though it was rocky and filled with crap, wish we had stumbled on the outfitter's camp.
 
TractorDoc, Again Another Great Trip Report! Looks like the Thorofare Creek Drainage is as beautiful as always. Have been here many a time. Now too bad you missed out on Hidden Creek, for it is absolutely Awesome up the drainage and one of the best places to hang out in this whole wilderness. Love thos Upper Hidden Creek Meadows! And you missed the old cabin it seems. Right near Pass Creek and in a hidden spot right off the trail is an old standing cabin. Too bad you missed this old cabin and at least still standing the last time was back in here. Also up in upper Pass Creek is gorgeous with it's abundance of big meadows and mountains. Another location of my old hangouts. But still a great trip report and Thanks A Bunch for posting! Plus good for those that saw the Grizzly for the Grizzlies are always back in here somewheres. Trust being around them Grizzlies, them many a citified goober these days. Best to You!
 
I'd say that camp picture of the gang still goes hard. The slight smiles are nice but I can tell you guys are still tough as nails.

Awesome day! I love coming across spots like that where there are tons of bear tracks in both directions. And I'm kind of like you in that I like to clean off the sunscreen and sweat at least from my face at night. Very unpleasant putting sunscreen on the next morning when you've got yesterday's layer of grime still. I always carry a little bottle of Dr. Bronners for that.
 
I swear that it wasn't me with that rock, not going to drop a dime on the actual evil doer though :)
It is all good. I'm going to steal a page out of the "types of fun" book for this one. You see, there are type one kinds of pranks, type two kinds, etc. This instance was type one mischief because I knew about the shenanigans as they were happening. A type two prank would have occurred if someone had buried that rock down where it could not be seen, only to be detected later. I'm not sure what a type three prank would be. . . maybe if someone hid the rock in there, I knew about it, then carried it anyway. :D

This day sort of blended together, the scenery was great, but not as good as the day before or maybe I was getting acclimatized to the Thorofare :)

I'm surprised by the low mileage, I was definitely ready for camp even though it was rocky and filled with crap, wish we had stumbled on the outfitter's camp.
We had definitely been spoiled thus far. Day five would be (and was) amazing on any trip. We just happened to have several super-duper-over-the-top-amazing days before and after it (Ooops, Spoilers). I remember it being rather warm on day five. . . I think that made the distance feel longer.

Now too bad you missed out on Hidden Creek, for it is absolutely Awesome up the drainage and one of the best places to hang out in this whole wilderness. Love thos Upper Hidden Creek Meadows! And you missed the old cabin it seems. Right near Pass Creek and in a hidden spot right off the trail is an old standing cabin. Too bad you missed this old cabin and at least still standing the last time was back in here.
I've learned to take what Yellowstone (and its surroundings) gives me rather than trying to fit too much in and see everything. Hidden Creek is definitely still on the list to see one day. . . might just have to add the old cabin to that list too. Maybe next time I need to consult you before heading out. Thanks for the kind words! :)

I'd say that camp picture of the gang still goes hard. The slight smiles are nice but I can tell you guys are still tough as nails.
Maybe slightly bent and rusty nails. ;)

Awesome day! I love coming across spots like that where there are tons of bear tracks in both directions. And I'm kind of like you in that I like to clean off the sunscreen and sweat at least from my face at night. Very unpleasant putting sunscreen on the next morning when you've got yesterday's layer of grime still. I always carry a little bottle of Dr. Bronners for that.
Definitely a bear crossroads at that mudhole. It is difficult to sleep when the sleeping bag sticks to your arms, legs, etc. :p
 
Nice day five writeup. The lichens, the reflection, and @Bob recharging his battery are my favorite shots. The horseshoe bend isn't shabby either. :)

Day five was where things really got rolling. I guess truthfully they got rolling from the Thorofare Patrol Cabin on. I'm guessing because the second part of day four, day five, and day six were all new territory for me. I loved hiking along Thorofare Creek. All of it was beautiful country back in there.

As I recall, you were supposed to follow me down to the creek to keep me safe. I think you said, "I'm going with Hugh - safety in numbers." :D That is before you got sidetracked. :) That grizzly coming out of the willows sure made my heart race. :

Didn't Ranger Elizabeth tell you to not shower by fresh bear scat? :cautious:
 
Day five was where things really got rolling. I guess truthfully they got rolling from the Thorofare Patrol Cabin on. I'm guessing because the second part of day four, day five, and day six were all new territory for me. I loved hiking along Thorofare Creek. All of it was beautiful country back in there.
I figured it was because your pack was getting lighter.

As I recall, you were supposed to follow me down to the creek to keep me safe. I think you said, "I'm going with Hugh - safety in numbers." :D That is before you got sidetracked. :) That grizzly coming out of the willows sure made my heart race. :
My memory is fuzzy on this day, but I think I asked if you wanted me to come along for "safety in numbers" and you said you'd be fine. I could easily have been distracted too -- probably with taking a picture of a blade of grass or something. :)
 
My memory is fuzzy on this day, but I think I asked if you wanted me to come along for "safety in numbers" and you said you'd be fine. I could easily have been distracted too -- probably with taking a picture of a blade of grass or something. :)

Carolina reapers will help with the fuzzy memory. :D
 
Was I on this trip? Because I don't recall much about it if I was. Listening to everyone talk endlessly about bears and how they weren't a bit scared made me lose track of where we were.
 
Was I on this trip? Because I don't recall much about it if I was. Listening to everyone talk endlessly about bears and how they weren't a bit scared made me lose track of where we were.
Even with a fuzzy memory I do recall seeing your likeness now and again. I even took a picture of @scatman taking your picture. :)

Bears? What bears? Ignorance is bliss. ;)

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Was I on this trip? Because I don't recall much about it if I was. Listening to everyone talk endlessly about bears and how they weren't a bit scared made me lose track of where we were.

Oh, you were definitely there. It was the sugar high from all the Jelly Bellies used on the perfect kidnapping plan in Pinedale that clouded your memory for much of the trip. Or maybe raiding @TractorDoc's stash of Circus Peanuts was the cause. :)
 
If you found the right sized rocks and painted them with finesse, you know, to look like Chocolonely or circus peanuts or Peak freeze dried meals, you could probably get away with someone carrying rocks in their pack for quite some time. Elaborate pranks like that take a lot of time and dedication, which probably isn't worth the payoff. Especially if they get violent. Stone soup has that effect on people.
 
If you found the right sized rocks and painted them with finesse, you know, to look like Chocolonely or circus peanuts or Peak freeze dried meals, you could probably get away with someone carrying rocks in their pack for quite some time. Elaborate pranks like that take a lot of time and dedication, which probably isn't worth the payoff. Especially if they get violent. Stone soup has that effect on people.

I wondered why that Chocolonely bar was so heavy. :)
 
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