I prepare for trips by giving myself many options. This gives me the flexibility to revise my loose itinerary on the fly. Today called for cross-country travel to Rabbit Ears Lake, over Macon Pass and on to Washakie Lake, my legs were feeling the fatigue of the previous days so I told myself I’d make a decision at the junction. I said goodbye to Baptiste Lake and Mount Hooker (see previous post for details).
Soon enough I found myself at Grave Lake. What a HUGE body of water. It was so nice being on trail. The fatigued muscles said we like this option. To reach Rabbit Ears Lake, I would have crossed the Grave Lake outlet and worked my way south along the outlet stream. I’m sure it would have been fun, but I’ve learned to listen to my body and that internal voice. For safety reasons, I send out an InReach message whenever I change trails, go off trail, or find myself in a risky situations such as crossing rivers.
More importantly I found a civilized way to cross waterways, not that it mattered at this point as I’d had wet feet for days. I wear quick dry trail shoes with merino wool socks for blister management. I dry out my feet on breaks. Putting on wet socks in the morning is still one of my least favorite things but since they’ll be wet within 5 minutes it doesn’t make sense to put on dry ones.
South Fork Lake. Here’s a fun story. Upon arrival at the lake, I found my friend Bill who I met a few weeks ago, shared some miles and camp at Tayo Lake. The Winds are indeed a small place. He was parked at the furthest northwest trailhead while I was at the furthest southwest. What a coincidence!
To be continued . . .
- Date(s) Hiked: 8/10/17
- Mileage: Approximately 8-10 (conserving battery so didn’t track)
- Elevation Gain/Loss: Unknown, constant up and down (conserving battery so didn’t track)
- Trail Conditions:
- Tree obstacles: minimal
- Overgrowth: minimal
- Signage: moderate on main trails
- Terrain: rocky in some places, mucky in others
- Water: plentiful
- Camping: excellent
- Solitude: High! Met a large group hiking toward Hailey Pass, one solo guy, and a group who’d stayed at South Fork Lakes the previous night, plus the four fishermen at South Fork Lakes
- Bugs: plentiful but I didn’t need deet (overwhelming gnats at South Fork Lakes)
- Wildlife Sightings: none beyond birds, squirrels, chipmunks, pika, and marmuts
- Precip: expect thunderstorms in July/August; I’ve been wet and dumped on with hail and rain nearly daily
- Temp: Overnight varied and seemed to fluctuate a lot in the 30’s and 40’s, highs were probably in 60’s-70’s.
- Jan’s Cherry Picker Delight Scale: 4+ cherries (out of 5).
- Be prepared for altitude, elevation changes, weather changes, bugs and navigation. Also review current food protection requirements/guidelines (I used an Ursack with an Opsack liner).
- Shoshone National Forest, Popo Agie Wilderness
- Nancy Pallister’s book, Beyond Trails in the Wind River Mountains of Wyoming
- Ron Adkison’s book, Hiking Wyoming’s Wind River Range
- Beartooth Publishing Wind River Range South Outdoor Recreation Map