Days 95-96: Elkhart Trailhead to Pixley Creek along the Green River, ~30 miles, ~1,650 miles total
Pinedale, Wyoming is not a town I’d want to leave. A blend of western frontier and recreation gateway. Where ropers and Carharts aren’t fashion, they are the equipment for the job to be done. The town residents are cowboys and climbers. Excellent gear shop next to a great brewery. Across the street a tack shop. Steakhouses and natural food stores. Good coffee, too. Just like the sign near the grocery store reads: “Welcome to Pinedale… all the civilization you need!”
I at first wanted to stay longer and enjoy the perks of a good town. But we were offered a ride by a great couple before we even tried to start hitching! Back on trail, the desire for the comforts of civilization quickly faded.
By the time we got to Photographers Point, I was in sync with Gabriel: Now is the time to be in the mountains and on the trail. Postcards and blog posts and emails can wait. It’s the height of summer and we have rock gardens, sparkling lakes, and alpine meadows to admire. And Canada to reach (though the destination is the journey itself, it does have an end point). The view at the point helped me transition from “task Marmot” to “trail Marmot”.
The northern Wind River Range is home to Wyoming’s tallest mountain: Gannett Peak (13,804′). Along with other towering spires, alpine lakes, and rolling meadows the northern Winds are spectacular. We opted to explore the area just a little more by veering off the office CDT and taking an alternate route through Titcomb Basin and over Knapsack Col.
Being late July, I was thinking of friends, Ptarmigan Traverse adventures from last summer, and trips to beautiful lakes. The alternate route and its mountains and lakes meant we were close to the kind of places we share with ones loved and some who are now missed.
I made sure to get out of the tent and enjoy the star-filled nights. To admire the silhouettes of mountains. To smell the abundant wildflowers. To stop and wade into the glacier fed lakes. We lingered in the heart of the Winds.