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  1. #1
    BillyBob58's Avatar
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    Trip report Wind River Mountains, Wyoming

    Well, I finally got some of the pictures from my trip Sept 6-11, 2008. We flew into Salt Lake and spent the night. After a leisurely day in SLC, we finally got to Lander, Wyoming by late afternoon. Only to find out that the road to the trail head we were planning on ( Bears Ears Trail) crossed the Indian Reservation, and there would be a $50 fee EACH to drive a short distance across it. after much weeping and gnashing of teeth, a pizza and a beer or two, we decided to go back to the other side of the range to a trailhead we were familiar with. So after an additional 2 hours or so of driving, we made a cow boy car camp near the trailhead, setting up camp in the dark. We were two brand new hammockers and two semi-pros. It was a beautiful night, so we did not put our tarps out, I kept mine in it's skins. A bazillion stars, and mid 20sF.


    We had one unhappy camper the next AM. He was in a 20* PeaPod without a top blanket, over a Claytor Mosquito ( 2 of us had Claytor No Nets and another had a top loader, not sure of brand). It turns out he is a bit claustrophobic. He would be plenty warm with the pod mostly closed, but he couldn't stand it falling down around his head/face, as it did with the narrow Claytor, something I consider a warmth boosting benefit, like a mummy bag. But if he opened the top enough to be comfortable with no claustrophobia, the draft around head/neck let out too much of his warm air. He needed something to at least seal around the neck. I think he worked something out after that night, but I don't know if he will stick with hammocks or not. I also had a 20*PeaPod and also no top blanket. I just used my down vest and BMW PG jacket to drape over me. Sometimes I would put one or both on backwards, and it always gave me more than enough extra loft to seal around the neck, and often I had the head area pretty wide open. I was always plenty warm, sometimes too warm. Another guy had a summer weight PeaPod, plus a 20* down bag used as a top quilt, and a pad down below inside the PeaPod, outside the hammock. He was plenty warm, and usually had the pod top/face area wide open. Next was my step son using my Warbonnet 1/2 length UQ plus WM leg pad, and a Cat's Meow sleeping bag as a quilt, and my neck gaitor for his face. Always toasty warm.
    I was ( and the others also) glad to see the Sun:


    So we had breakfast and hit the trail


    We hiked up the mountain trail through magnificent forest, but with little scenery. Then as we got a little closer to tree line, we came to our first camp for the night, V Lake:




    It could not have been more peaceful or beautiful. We quickly had camp set up, though I ended up moving mine 3 times. There were a lot of dead trees in this area, probably because of Pine Beetle damage. These trees have all been weakened due to prolonged drought. We had this lake, as well as Clear lake, entirely to our selves. We saw a couple of hikers walk by on the trail, but they were the only ones we saw. If they were there (stealth) we did not see them. As we sat around our bonfires ( notice the little demon/Ghost that jumped out of our fire, on the left side. Do you see him?), we heard the coyotes and/or wolves howling, and the Elk wre bugling throughout the night. It was a truly wild feeling.


    My friend Tom's Granite Gear 10x8 tarp, 55* PeaPod and 20*F down bag as quilt. He also had a thermarest down in the PeaPod, outside the hammock.


    My step son Randy's JRB tarp, Claytor No Net, Cat's Meow bag as quilt, and Warbonnet short UQ:


    Chuck's 20* PeaPod, Speer Winter Tarp and Claytor Mosquito hammock. Since this hammock was shorter, the PeaPod would completely enclose both ends of the hammock, not unlike a foot box on a top quilt. The SWT was great at blocking the wind, but every one was also real pleased overall with the JRB tarps.

    Randy and I used some stock Claytor webbing with extra knots. We had plenty of rain but stayed bone dry, and there was no sag/stretch noticed. I had it on one end, but my cinch buckle on the other, which was much more convenient and could handle bigger trees and long stretches better, at the cost of a few oz. Chuck cut his Claytor webbing, and I tied a bowline on each end of the channel, through which he put some carabiners, and tied the left over Claytor webbing to that. Rain was well blocked in all cases.

    Me changing shoes in my Claytor No Net/PeaPod/JRB tarp:


    continued
    Last edited by BillyBob58; 09-30-2008 at 13:54.
    For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us....that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now.
    Romans 8:18,21-22

  2. #2
    BillyBob58's Avatar
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    We spent a couple of days at V lake. We each were sleeping 12 hours per night, plus taking afternoon naps! Then we packed up and headed higher up the trail towards Clear Lake, passing beautiful Diamond Lake, where I camped one night about 10 years ago. there was an Elk crossing the lake inlet at the other end, but he can't be seen in this pic:



    We got some water out of this ice cold creek:


    Just before the final 400 foot climb to clear lake, we looked up towards Sundance Pinnacle/Warrior Peak and Jack *** Pass towards Lonesome Lake on the other side. We were grateful that we did not have to cross this pass as we have done in the past.


    Then after climbing several hundred feet, we realized we got on the wrong trail ( there are few signs out here, plus we were tired and just screwed up). After a brief debate, I was able to talk every one into following a compass setting and a contour line using the altimeter, off trail rather than going back down the trail to where we went wrong, dropping all of that hard earned elevation. Two of us at first strongly wanted to go back, two of us wanted to follow the compass/altimeter. We (compass group) prevailed, so we walked through the woods on a steep side hill for a while, crossed a creek, and thankfully( I would have been lynched if we got lost) popped out of the woods at Clear Lake at last:




    Our pads came in handy, even though we never had to go to ground. Sitting around the campfire and just sitting or laying somewhere where the hammock wasn't:


    Or, for some who couldn't get warm and wanted to catch every available Sun beam:


    continued
    Last edited by BillyBob58; 09-29-2008 at 20:19.
    For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us....that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now.
    Romans 8:18,21-22

  3. #3
    BillyBob58's Avatar
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    It was as awe inspiring as I remembered it:




    These peaks are just a few feet short of 13,000 feet, and Clear Lake is 10,014 so you can see these sheer walls are huge. Finally, the weather turned on us a bit, wind, rain, thunder, very close lightning strikes followed by ice falling out of the sky:


    Some of us just used the crappy weather as an excuse to catch another nap:


    Just before the weather changed, looking back the way we came and the way out:


    It rained(lightly) and sleeted all of the last night. Then just about when it was time to get up, the sound of sleet hitting the tarp stopped and was replaced by silence as the snow started. So we packed up in the snow and headed out:


    We did 8.5 miles through the snow ( mostly down hill) in 3 hours and 15 minutes, to the truck. We were like horses going to the barn. We were all sick of trail food and wanted to be at a tiny place in Farson, Wy. for lunch. A place that we knew had great burgers and cold beer. We made it by a little past 1 PM, then drove to SLC by late afternoon, ending another great and adventurous trip.
    For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us....that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now.
    Romans 8:18,21-22

  4. #4
    Senior Member FanaticFringer's Avatar
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    Very nice pics BillyBob. I'd love to go out west and hang.
    "Every day above ground is a good day"

  5. #5
    Senior Member Just Jeff's Avatar
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    Mid-20s already? Lucky dog...

    Great report and pics.
    “Republics are created by the virtue, public spirit, and intelligence of the citizens. They fall when the wise are banished from the public councils because they dare to be honest, and the profligate are rewarded because they flatter the people, in order to betray them.” ~Judge Joseph Story

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  6. #6
    Senior Member Walking Bear's Avatar
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    Great photos and trip report. We had looked at the Wind River area a couple of years ago. Did not go that time. However, it is on my list of a place I would love to hike. It's not to bad a dirve to get there from Nebraska.

  7. #7
    GrizzlyAdams's Avatar
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    great pictures, and sounds like an enjoyable trip. Thanks for posting. I've been expecting and anticipating this report!

    *** Grizz wonders aloud how he could get to be one of the Billy Bob Bunch...no venues like that in Illinois....***

    Grizz

  8. #8
    tight-wad's Avatar
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    Great report! Great pictures! Sounds like a whole lotta fun!

  9. #9
    BillyBob58's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GrizzlyAdams View Post
    great pictures, and sounds like an enjoyable trip. Thanks for posting. I've been expecting and anticipating this report!

    *** Grizz wonders aloud how he could get to be one of the Billy Bob Bunch...no venues like that in Illinois....***

    Grizz
    That is an easy group to join, the BB bunch, you just show up! But there are not many trips these days.

    I never had such a lazy trip. The hammocks were quite seductive, and hard to escape. Resulting in the least actual trail miles we ever covered. And honestly, we each had 12 hours sleep at night for most nights! Plus naps! That makes it difficult to cover much mileage, but it sure is fun.
    For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us....that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now.
    Romans 8:18,21-22

  10. #10
    slowhike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BillyBob58 View Post
    I never had such a lazy trip. The hammocks were quite seductive, and hard to escape. Resulting in the least actual trail miles we ever covered. And honestly, we each had 12 hours sleep at night for most nights! Plus naps! That makes it difficult to cover much mileage, but it sure is fun.
    Sounds like a great trip to me!!!

    Nice shot that captured both the moon & the fire. Not always easy to make that happen.
    don`t leave the CREATOR out of the creation!

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