Friday, July 1, 2022

Day 113: Buried alive!

August 11: It was still dark when I was woken by a horrific crashing sound. I was camped near the base of a steep slope, and I realized immediately it was the sound of a rock slide! Looking around, I tried to figure out exactly where it was or if my location was in danger of being buried by the slide. It sounded like it was coming from just above me.

I couldn't see anything, though, and after several seconds, the sound stopped. Well, it mostly stopped. I still heard smaller rocks rolling down the mountain. Probably the loose ones. For the time being, though, it appeared that the landslide had stopped and I wasn't buried alive, so I considered that a successful start to the day. =)


The end of the Wind River Range definitely went out with a bang!

After thinking about it some more, I decided not to worry about further slides. Although I was camped near a slope, I was not particularly near the steepest sections. And, fortunately, the slide seemed to have stopped. I'm not even sure why it happened in the first place. It wasn't like there was rain to destabilize the ground or anything.

A few hours later, the sun started rising. It was a bit chilly in the morning, but fortunately no frost or condensation to cause problems this time. I had camped under the branches of a tree which probably helped keep the frost away because the open meadows were sopping wet from the frost. Looking around the nearby cliffs, I couldn't see any evidence of a slide which seemed weird. It was so loud! I know it happened. It wasn't a dream. Definitely not a dream. Probably not as big as I imagined it, though.

By 6:40am, I was on the trail and hiking. The first few hours of the day, I passed a half-dozen or so southbound thru-hikers. The most notable one this time was a girl from South Carolina who had decided to hike with a trombone! It was plastic, but it was still big and bulky and a surprising item to see a thru-hiker carrying. Her trailname was Slider, which seemed like a good choice. =)


Slider got her name because she carried a trombone in her pack! I really wished I had a chance to hear her play one evening around camp. =)

After those first few hours on the trail, however, I didn't see anymore south-bounders for the rest of the day. What happened to them all?! Why did such a huge gap of them exist?

I set up camp near Green River Lakes, which basically marked the end of the Wind River Range. The dramatic scenery of the last several days become more muted and dull. It was still nice, but nothing like the jaw-dropping scenery of before. I was also back among the cow pastures.

There were a couple of short sections of trail with blowdowns that the south-bounders had been sounding an alarm about, but I didn't find them particularly problematic. They were definitely an annoyance and slowed me down, but they were so short as to be forgettable. If it weren't for all the warnings that the south-bounders kept giving me, I'd probably have forgotten to mention the blowdowns in my journal. If they thought that was bad, they had a nasty surprise ahead in a few days!


Blowdowns were a bit of a problem along a couple of sections, but they were pretty short and mostly forgettable.

I did run into two north-bounders today, Money and Stranger. I had met Money briefly once before hundreds of miles back near Winter Park. I'd actually forgotten that we had met until he reminded me. Stranger was a new face for me.

We stopped for a break at Gunsight Pass and I joked that Money should change his name is "Long Time No See." They asked why.

"So the next time I run into you two hiking together, I can say, 'Hey, Stranger! Long Time No see!"

It was a stupid joke, and I knew it was a stupid joke, but they laughed uproariously like it was the funniest thing in the world. If I had any doubts about them being high as a kite smoking pot, that laughter certainly settled the matter.

I pushed onward, eventually stopping for the night by the Lake of the Woods, perhaps 20 feet from the shoreline. It was a bit breezy and I thought about moving to a more sheltered location, but I really liked the view over the lake and the breeze helped keep the mosquitoes away. The mosquitoes hadn't been a big problem, but they were around and the breeze definitely helped keep them away

So I made myself comfortable by the lake and called it a day.

Lake of the Woods

I did find someone camped in front of this shelter which could have been a thru-hiker for all I know, but I didn't see anyone and didn't bother them in case they were still sleeping in late in the morning.


I didn't know for certain, but I think the craggy peaks in the distance might be the Grand Tetons.

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