Wind River Range behind, Yellowstone ahead

Aug 3
Campsite below Gunsight Pass/ road walk/ to Rt 26, then hitch to Dubois,WY
29 miles

“I hated every minute of training, but I said, ‘Don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion’ “-Muhammed Ali


Thank God we’ve finally completed this section to route 26/Togwotee Pass.
Our meager supply of remaining food was parsed out in the end and we followed our Ley map, walking out to the highway and hitching a ride to a much needed break and resupply in Dubois.
These types of obstacles (this time- unexpected glitches with logistics) present themselves daily out here and are part of the norm. This one takes the cake.
Coming over Gunsight Pass at 10,110 feet elevation early this very cold morning , we realized the game has changed again. Where we have been viewing more and more mountains ahead from the high passes this past week of backpacking, this time it was different.
The mountains that I expected are gone. Ahead of us are much lower, rolling hills, broad swaths of meadows, and large numbers of cattle peppering those huge green expanses and water courses threading through the greenery.
It reminds me of experience of the Colorado mountains petering out as we began to enter eastern Wyoming.
It will be easier walking for a while. A little while.
As we approached Togwotee I was astounded to see initial evidence of the Absaroka Mountains, a massive cluster of spires that will stretch all the way up into Montana, above Yellowstone. The Pass receives heavy winter snowfall and is a top destination for snowmobiling and cross-country skiing. Snowfall at the pass often exceeds 25 feet, with reports of over 50 feet.
We’re here at the hiker- friendly Branding Iron motel, where we scored a discounted room in a cabin for $76. We plan to take a much needed day off tomorrow.
Everything is within easy walking distance here – laundry across the street, supermarket within sight, and numerous restaurants 5 minutes down the street.
Alarmed, but also pleased to see my “new” body as I stepped out of the shower tonight. No middle gut or love handles anymore. My arms are skinny- my reduced size 34 pants are now needing a belt to keep from sliding off my vanishing butt.
I had a snack from the Conoco of a pint of chocolate milk, bag of roasted almonds, and a home made candy – a huge cluster of roasted almonds covered with dark chocolate.
Then I had a real meal at the Cowboy Cafe- a Fat Tire ale, salad, bowl of chili with cheese/ onions, then full rack of ribs, cornbread, and cowboy beans. Train and Wizard were surprised I ate it all.
We sat up and talked and talked when we got back to the room. How can you process all that we go through every day out here?
I love these two guys- Train and Wizard. We all depend on each other for safety and sanity and we manage to hold on to just enough of both as we lay our exhausted heads down on our makeshift pillows each night.
While we go through this stuff every day, we remind ourselves often that, ” This is the life we have chosen”.
Lately, I wonder if this life has chosen us.

3 thoughts on “Wind River Range behind, Yellowstone ahead

  1. Robert

    Hey U. Tom, Glad to read your latest. I’ve sort of fallen off the daily monitoring of your blog but hoping to resume now. Found a project K75 and it’s in the garage. Yellowstone should be awesome, will you be anywhere near the newly awakened Steamboat geyser? It seems like you keep shrinking, make sure there’s enough to get you home. Robert


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