Mother Nature

Being outside, immersed in the beauty and splendor of which Mother Nature herself has painted creates a wonderful feeling of being home, being whole, and being honored. To be given such a gift; to be allowed to partake in something so true and real can create immense satisfaction and a feeling of well-being.

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Starry Sky

Isolated from the natural world, few of us nowadays stand silent beneath a starry sky that remains unblemished by artificial light. Yet the eternal nightly show is one of nature’s most subtle and moving experiences. It is a spectacle that arrives slowly, changes gradually, and then slips imperceptibly away, night after night, year after year, in utter silence. It is an experience our ancestors knew well, and it provoked in them, as it should in us, deep questions of meaning, of origins, and of destiny.

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Lozier Lakes and No Name Lakes

*I initially wrote this as a trip report for our shop’s blog:www.greatoutdoorshop.wordpress.com.*

New Fork Lakes Trailhead, I must confess, is never that high on my list. It is a beautiful trailhead and it accesses some very spectacular scenery and is way, waayyyy less crowded than it’s neighbor trailheads, but the trails just aren’t that inviting for many people. The trailhead lies beside the lakes of same name, which are nestled in a very beautiful canyon valley. No matter where your itinerary takes you out of this trailhead you must plan for an entire day (at least) of steady uphill climbing to get out of the valley and into the mountains. No matter where you are going, you will be going uphill first. I don’t mean “all day” as an exaggeration. Look at a map and prepare your legs for the hike. All trails go up and up and upppppppppp out of here, and there’s no way around it. Also, I’ve never had dry feet after hiking out of New Fork Lakes. This could be my subconscious timing, or it could be that this is just a damp, muddy place. There certainly is a lot of water around. Negativity aside, as I mentioned, this trailhead offers some pretty amazing and truly unique views of the Winds and you should check it out. Just plan on wet feet and lots of uphill. Okay? Go!

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Elkhart Park to Big Sandy

*I initially wrote this as a trip report for our shop’s blog:www.greatoutdoorshop.wordpress.com.*

On June 1, 2012, Josh broke his shoulder while longboarding down from Elkhart Park Trailhead. It had been our first real day out for the season and he broke it after a day of climbing. After the relief of hearing a “no surgery” verdict, I made peace with the fact that our summer was going to be spent with the company of an arm sling. What can you do with a broken shoulder? Nothing.  You can’t wear a pack, you can’t ride a bike, you can’t really do anything but fish with a Tenkara rod that requires no reeling. Bummer. As you know, every June we get to do one big trip together while Sierra is visiting her grandparents in Nebraska. Due to Josh’s break I figured we’d play it by ear and see how he was feeling. We decided to do the Southern half of the Winds and see if we could fish a little. Because he couldn’t carry a traditional pack, we rigged up a pack to carry sling style, like a messenger bag. He carried his food, a water bottle, his Tenkara rod, and his flies, and I carried everything else. We set off on a Tuesday after work, figuring  we could at least get a head start on the hiking.

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Hailey Pass and Washakie Pass

*I initially wrote this as a trip report for our shop’s blog:www.greatoutdoorshop.wordpress.com.*

Every June, Josh and I get to do at least one hike without Sierra while she visits her grandparents in Nebraska. We try to shake it up a bit and explore new areas of the Winds, or at least link up areas that we think would make for a great trip. This year we decided to head south and play on both sides of the Continental Divide, because, well…why wouldn’t we? Right? The tentative itinerary would take us from the Big Sandy Trailhead, over Hailey Pass, with a loop around over Washakie Pass and back out again. Both Hailey Pass and Washakie Pass have USFS maintained trails that cross over the Continental Divide, but as it was only June we figured they’d still be covered with snow. So, we packed up ice axes and bug spray (only in Wyoming, right?) and hit the trail.

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Elkhart Park to Green River Lakes

*I initially wrote this as a trip report for our shop’s blog:www.greatoutdoorshop.wordpress.com.*

First, and foremost, allow me a brief Author disclaimer in my mom voice. DO NOT HIKE ON BROKEN ANKLES. If what happened to me on this trip happens to you on this, or any, trip, for heaven’s sake, turn around and hike out. Don’t, like me, continue on stubbornly. Okay? Good.

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Titcomb Basin

*I initially wrote this as a trip report for our shop’s blog: www.greatoutdoorshop.wordpress.com, but since it involves a family outing I’ve also listed it here. Plan on seeing more of these.*

First off, I’m going to just go ahead and admit my bias: I love Titcomb Basin more than any other place in the Wind River Range. Bear this in mind when my prose gets poetic, and my descriptions get thick. I love it. If you’ve been there, you understand. If you haven’t, well, maybe this post will get you there. Seriously. You should go there.

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