CDT Thru-Hike Week 10. The Winds.
The Wind River Range, Wyoming.
The South Winds greeted me with many blow downs. It wasn’t like just climbing over a few trees. It was hours of slow maneuvering around trees on top of trees. My legs were cut up and I worked my way down to Little Sandy Lake.
I was on the wrong side of the bay so instead of walking around I forded the waters. I held my pack over my head as the water got deeper and deeper. For a few seconds it was over my eyes so I took a breath and shuffled my footing to higher rocks. Once I had shallower footing I raised up and took a big gasping breath. A few hikers on the other side said, “there’s a trail over here.”
“This way is more fun,” I replied.
“If you say so,” a voice came from a small cliff.
If I stood idol, the mosquitos would swarm me. I put on rain gear and my head net and moved on. Even to take a drink of water or bite of food took timing of raising my net, getting my nourishment and closing up the net again. The little blood suckers would even get my hands. So I would pull my sleeves over my hands.
The uncomfortable sweat of my hot frogg toggs was better than the itchy bites of the mountain vampires.
The Diving Board
I heard from a hiker in Colorado to hike up to “The Diving Board.” It was on my digital map so I stashed my pack and climbed up East Temple. When I got there it was windy and my sweat of climbing soon chilled me. I found the diving board which is a big flat rock that is leaning over a sheer cliff 2,000 feet straight down to a glacier lake. I crawled onto the edge and peered over. My head became light as my eyes tried to adjust to the depth. It was like looking out an airplane window shortly after takeoff.
After the adrenaline of the view I descended back to my pack before I got too cold.
The Cirque of Towers
The jagged mountain tops surrounded by lakes, streams, and wildflowers were breathtaking. The mosquitos were less but biting flies were about. At one of the lakes there was a film crew shooting a fishing show. Rock climbers, fishermen, hikers, horserbackers, were all sharing in the beauty.
I ran out of food so I walked the extra 20 miles off the red line to catch a ride to Pinedale. On my hike out 2 horseback women offered me a place to stay. It was my lucky day.
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