Well, to nobody's surprise, we loved the Wind River Range. Naturally, we did the Cirque of the Towers alternate, and loved it. The going was tough at times, since we had all got out of the habit of mountain climbing as we trudged across southern Wyoming. Texas pass was a particular butt kicker, we climbed 1500feet in 1.5miles, which is pretty steep! Then the descent was a pretty vertical down-climb on loose scree and slippery gravel... Not my favourite, especially since the tread on my shoes was all but gone by the time we got to the winds. Oh well, I survived and only fell over three or four times that day (I swear I'm meant to be getting better at this hiking business, but it doesn't seem to be happening.
My feet suffered the most on this trip. Pretty much everything else was good, though I the Salomon running shorts definitely have to go. They have a nasty seam right on the inner thighs that is not flat stitched and was chafing places where my boxer briefs did not protect.
Foot-wise though, these shoes caused me some grief. Part of it is because they were wearing out and now have holes in the heels which were caused a blister. The other part is that they rub my feet funny where the sock-liner meets the inside of the shoe, creating these friction sores - not really a blister, but red patches that hurt alot. They have done this since I first got them... so time to move on to something different. So long Altra Superior, I really love your toebox. I am going to have to tread carefully when making my next shoe purchase.
I totally have to figure out how they got to that camp site on the other side of the lake... it looks fabulous. My first inspection tells me they actually jumped across the rocks in a shallow rapids section a little further along. Something to investigate for the future because that spot looks pretty sweet.
The best and the hardest thing about the views in the Basin are that you can see for miles and miles and miles. I took this photo just so you can see the trail we followed all the way from the horizon. It took a fair bit of extra self motivation to keep walking because there were no trees or hills or waypoints to measure your progress with. It felt like we were moving on a treadmill sometimes, walking over the same slightly rocky gravel road past the same 5 sagebrush bushes. But it also felt good to be able to see all that way back and finally think "oh we walked over that!"
The Basin was a beautiful few days of walking. It gets a bit of a bad wrap, but we got a good (for the Basin) weather window and actually really enjoyed it.
Don't get me wrong, we will not be suddenly doing 30mile days from here on out! The days were exhaustingly long, and we fell into bed each night wondering what on earth we were doing, but man the views were worth it. It was fairly flat sage brush for miles and miles and miles in every direction, which reminded me so much of the hiking in the north of Australia. So pretty.
And on to day two... there are much fewer photos now due to the fact that the bugs were worse than yesterday and eventually rain. Put it all together: walking up hill, in warm muggy weather, while it rains, with bugs harassing you = no desire to take photos.
I am smiling here because I found a little high-ground oasis that was relatively bug free for a break. It hasn't started to rain yet, though the clouds are thinking about it.