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Memories of Pinedale Wyoming

Wind River Range - SceneryFactoids:

  • There are 1,300 glacier formed lakes around Pinedale.
  • The largest glaciers in the U.S. Rocky Mountains are in the Wind River Range.
  • Gannett Peak, at 13,802 ft is the tallest in the state.
  • Fremont Peak at 13,750 ft, is the third highest peak in Wyoming.
  • If you ignore Grand Teton (second highest), the 20 highest peaks in Wyoming are in the Wind River Range.
  • Green River, the longest tributary to the Colorado River has its headwaters in these mountains.
  • The Wind River falls from the eastern slopes of these mountains and is the longest tributary to the Bighorn River.
  • The Wind River Mountains are protected on all sides by Federal wilderness areas, and the Wind River Indian Reservation on the eastern slope.

Stormy Prairie Sky - SceneryPinedale Wyoming is a settlement on a 7000’ plateau nestled against the Western Slope of the Wind River Mountains. While on my 2015 Intermountain West expedition, I’d just left the Great Salt Lake area <Blog> and had a few free days before a rendezvous with a pal in Jackson Wyoming, so I was exploring new horizons. I was travelling in my 1988 Suzuki Samurai, a true adventure-mobile, and quite the conversation starter. While the upsides of this ride are many, there is a sacrifice: lodging is not built in. As the day’s end drew near I was driving north from the Fontenelle Dam through summer thunderstorms and the low rays of the sun painting the clouds and valleys. The spectacular peaks of the Wind River Range kept drawing me ever further north.

Samurai Ready For Trip - n/a
My ride for six weeks through the Inter-mountain western USA 2015-04-26.

By the time I reached Pinedale I was beat. I found a room to let just outside of town. While I was checking in, there was a big burly biker looking dude with a couple of items to buy (the store was where the rooms were rented) and I commented to the store manager that I wasn’t in a particular hurry, why not take care of the ‘gentleman’ behind me first. I looked back and the ‘biker’ started looking around in mock confusion to see who I could be speaking of, and we had a good laugh. After leaving the store with his purchases and having seen my California plates, he came back in and asked where in California I came from. When I told him San Diego, he said he was born there. I told him so was I. We yacked for a good half hour and he suggested I come by his shop in Pinedale in the morning. He told me he worked with a nature photographer whose wife was often published in magazines. I had made a new friend in Andy.

I visited Andy’s shop the next morning before he arrived at work. His friend Ross popped out the side door of the shop and figured out who I was by the look of the Samurai. Andy got there a few minutes later and we all pow-wowed about places that I might want to checkout. They came up with 4 locations, each of which I later learned could take days to explore. I chose one route called the Skyline Road tour that climbed to over 9300 feet. There were several remarkable vistas into the Wind River Range, where this route carried me, and provided meetings with nice birds of the higher elevations. The Townsend’s Solitaires that I met there were always perched in the highest snags and the backdrop of a gray-white sky behind a gray bird left me wishing for more time and different weather. <Blog>

The gallery below displays some of the nice moments I was able to capture during my brief exploration.

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