Thursday, July 14, 2016

Union Pass and Wind River

Day 37 - July 13th
57 miles
Total: 1479.9 miles
Moving Avg: 6.9 mph
Overall Avg: 4.7 mph

This morning Ville built a campfire for us to warm beside while we packed up. We brewed coffee over the open fire to help power us up the climb to Union Pass.

As we left camp and the Green River Valley, the wide river valley faded behind us as we climbed up into higher elevation. Aspen groves shaded our trail from time to time and the rich red soil blended naturally into the sage covered hillsides.

The first ten miles were steep but came fairly easily for me. However, after ten miles, I started having an energy crash. I believe I was having difficulty with the elevation, as we haven't been up around 9000 ft for some time. I was needing to acclimate. We took second breakfast at Mosquito Lake, which for us, at the time, was free of Mosquitos.

Then we made the climb into the sub alpine and alpine regions preceding union pass. T he trail hugged the edge of the trees, giving us the forest experience while also allowing us to see the sweeping meadows, and the distant snow streaked mountains of the Bridger Wilderness. We are now in grizzly country, so we are being more cautious about our movement, and more alert with out surroundings. Twice today we were startled only to find that the creature/sound was a cow grazing at summer pasteur.

After 25 miles I was feeling completely wiped of energy so we took a pseudo nap under the sun, and ate some jerky. After that, I put in my headphones, and we made the final 12 mile push to the pass. It was at this time the road became easier to ride, the views became more magnificent, and I found me second wind. We cruised through those 12 miles faster than either of our previous 12 mile legs, and before we knew it, the mountain pass was creating, and we were seeing all the beautiful rugged jagged peaks of the Grand Tetons.

We made our descent from the highpoint just north of Union Pass, finding our way to a Mountain Lodge for an early dinner before our final 14 mile push to camp. After dinner, we descended to the Wind River Valley down a steep serpentine road that gave us amazing views of the Tetons, and their sedimentary history, rich colored stripes visible for miles at specific elevations, despite the irregular erosion.

After winding off the mountain and crossing the Wind River, we had eight miles of highway riding to get to camp. You guessed it, eight miles into the wind. It only makes sense that the Wind River Valley would challenge us with some wind.

Quote of the day: "I keep thinking to myself that if I can just get through this challenging portion of the trail, all will be well...but the trail just keeps giving me new challenges." -Apricots

Live life at a slower place.

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1 comment:

  1. Ah…love the Tetons….and the are close to one of my favorite places…love that whole area over there…journey on in safety…head to Paul's on Saturday….love ya