One of the bummer parts of trucking is that sometimes you have more time than you need to get to your next pickup or delivery. So you might just get stuck sitting at a truck stop for hours or even days. And because we get paid by the mile, that means you’re not making money. Or as they say, “If yer not turning, yer not earning!” But Charisse and I generally use these delays as an excuse to take an impromptu vacation.
And so it was that we were on our way back from California, and found that we’d have an extra day and a half to get to our drop in Chicago. We had just crossed into Wyoming when we got the news, so we grabbed the atlas to see what kind of “playgrounds” might be in our neck of the woods. We had heard of the Wind River Range of the Rockies as being a hiker’s paradise. So we parked the rig, rented a car, and started north across the High Plains.
We arrived in the town of Pinedale, at the foothills of the Wind River Range. Pinedale resembles a lot of places that are gateways to outdoor adventure: a local brewery, gear shops, campgrounds, coffee shops, all done up in a rugged aesthetic. The people, whether tourist or local, are scruffy in their Patagonia and Orvis clothing, bearded and ponytailed, driving Jeeps, vans, Subarus, and Tacomas. In Pinedale, hiking, mountain biking, and especially fly fishing, were the primary draw.
We had reserved a cozy room at a local B&B on a creek. A sweet German Shepherd named Ginger lazily watched the world go by from the front door. Our hostess Emmie graciously gave us some great food and hiking recommendations. Charisse turned in early, so I grabbed the binoculars and headed for the hills to catch a glimpse of the comet NEOWISE.
The next day we ate breakfast, packed our gear, and headed for the trailhead. The gear shop had warned us about the persistent mosquitoes. But even more troublesome were the murderous swarms of black flies at higher elevations. Or as one hiker put it, “black flies that’ll make you wish for mosquitoes.” Luckily, we weren’t really going that far into the mountains. We planned a relatively easy out-and-in of about 10 miles, topping out at around 10,000 feet. We passed through meadows of wildflowers and small ponds, all on our way to Photographers Point, where there were truly spectacular views of “The Winds”. Enjoy the pictures and video!