Monday, November 8, 2010

Wind Rivers: Hail, Snow and Friendly Chipmunks (Day 10,11)


29 August.
The initial plan after Glacier NP was to go to Yellowstone and the Tetons, then the Wind Rivers. But after checking the forecast, which said it was supposed to snow and rain for 10 days straight...well, yeah, changing plans was the thing to do. No big deal. The weather for the Wind River area was so-so, and we had to drive that direction anyway, so yonder we went...13 hour drive to Pinedale, Wyoming. Insane cloud cover pretty much the entire drive. Gnarly things happening in the sky. Got to Freemont Lake near the Wind Rivers about 1 am.
30 August.
I was up before sunrise (because really, who needs sleep? Not me!). Wandered around with my coffee and saw a migrant Northern Waterthrush. Passed a pretty big warbler flock nearby also.
Despite the forecast saying it was supposed to be okay, there were some mildly threatening clouds moving quickly in our direction. However, I was determined to get a hike in here, so we found an 8 miler that we ended up getting rained, hailed, and snowed on. Oh yeah, it was cold. Still beautiful though. Zac and I need to go back and spend at least 5 days in the backcountry there because it's a pretty badass place.
On the drive to the trailhead, I stopped in the road to take some cloud pictures. Ran over a couple hills quick and saw a Golden Eagle just hovering about 15 feet from me in the wind. Wow! What an awesome view of him!
The hike was fun despite the weather. I really, really like the Winds. It was stupid cold but I ended up trail running some of it to warm up. The forest was crazy green and the views were awesome. Lots of gray jays (wished I had brought the 500 mm).

Stopped for a quick snack (I had lost feeling in my fingers at this point due to the cold) before heading back down. Did I mention there was significant thunder and lightening, too? Indeed.
At the trailhead, put the Jetboil to use and made about 4 meals to get me through the next couple days. Stopped at an overlook on the drive down and took some pictures. While I was sitting on a rock, a chipmunk CLIMBED ONTO MY SHOULDER! Holy crap, talk about cute overload.
The weather got worse during the drive. Some pretty serious rain. Definitely ready for some sun and heat at this point! Made it to Provo Utah by about 10 pm. A couple Great-horned owls were calling all night long by the tents. I like those guys :) My World Nature Notes

27 comments:

GaneshPrasad said...

Lovely post! The pictures are beautiful. I only wish you could photograph the golden eagle! I know I am greedy ;) Who cares? The squirrel has come out wonderful.
Keep posting, Good day!

Mike Anders said...

Wonderful blog Jill
Mike

Sylvia K said...

Gorgeous photos, fantastic place and such a beautiful world you have, Jill! Love that little squirrel guy! Hope you have a wonderful week!

Sylvia

Carver said...

What a beautiful place to hike. You always take such great shots. The chipmunk is so cute.

BLOGitse said...

What a world and beautiful pics!
Greetings from Casablanca, Morocco!

Martha Z said...

Beautiful country, I can see why you like it.

Sistertex said...

Gorgeous! Those chipmonks are really something. The ones we have here are just fearless and with have a standoff with you if they feel like it. Amazing though that one came up and sat right on your shoulder, not sure how I would feel about that. I think it is pretty cute but on the other hand if it decided to get snappy with you, could be some trouble there.

Though the weather was a bit iffy for you the resulting photos are beautiful!

Gaelyn said...

Sometimes the best remembered hikes are in the lousiest weather. Very pretty countryside for sure. The chipper, just way to cute.

ladyfi said...

I do love some dramatic weather! Great photos!

magiceye said...

loved the images and interesting commentary too!

BraCom (Bram) said...

Beautiful My World posting

Have a nice week,
Greetings, Bram

My Word Tuesday post

Seen on My World Tuesday

Rambling Round said...

What rugged scenery! Quite different from my world! Enjoyed your post.

Jenn said...

Fantastic photos (despite the threat of rain) and what an awesome view.

Carolina Mountains said...

Fab place and pics. Too bad the weather didn't go milder.

Mary Howell Cromer said...

Simply GORGEOUS views and the little Chipmunks give everything a swell looking punch, for they are such cute little peaches to photograph, they always deliver what you seek~

ellen b said...

Wow...these are all such great shots! Wonderful scenes!

Jane said...

Beautiful photographs! I love the beauty of this part of the country...and that cute little squirrel.
Jane (Artfully Graced)

Janie said...

The Wind River range is one of my favorites, as beautiful as the Tetons, but relatively untraveled. Last time I was there, it rained for 3 days straight.

Bloggymom said...

Just lovely!!

Atticmag said...

Beautiful photos; beautiful country. Jane F

Brambleberry Cottage said...

Beautiful photography! How exciting it must be to be "here, there, and everywhere" taking in such incredible scenery!

Visiting by way of Outdoor Wednesday.

Liz @ the Brambleberry Cottage
http://thebrambleberrycottage.blogspot.com

Arija said...

Owls and chipmunks and all that grand scenery. Hope your fingers have warmed up so you can still play the violin. :)

Carol said...

Looks like an outstanding place to visit.

elvira pajarola said...

He really is toooo much.....!
SUPERQUTEANDSWEET!!!!

BREATHTAKING views over the mountains.....certainly, the sun would have been nice; but the dark weater made these mountains look very beautiful-dramatic!!!

GORGEOUS,Jill!!!!!!!!

ciao ciao elvira

ramblingwoods.com said...

Toooooooooo cute and what beautiful scenery..thanks for adding to Nature Notes this week.....Michelle

Leora said...

Your chipmunks are fabulous. So sweet. And the scenery is outstanding. Makes me want to go hiking tomorrow.

Denise said...

With your great photos and super narrative, this post was the next best thing to being there Jill. Thank you VERY much. I loved it, especially the part when you said a chipmunk perched on your shoulder. How very cool!!!! Have a great weekend.