Something about Pinedale really captured me last year, and for reasons yet to be put on record (edit), this felt like the right week to return. I set out on the Pole Creek trail again, but instead of the short hike to Sacred Rim, the wind-blown trees have been cleared out allowing passage to Photographer’s Point and Elklund Lake a bit further down the trail.
No one warned me that this time of year, Wyoming is home to a Gulf Coast of Mosquitoes. But the views were tremendous and the sky a proper blue. Last year, wildfires of the west coast had brought a smoky haze to settle over this whole range, obscuring many of the mountains and desaturating a lot of the sky.
After the hike, I went down the mountain, determined to grab dinner from that brewery I liked. The bartender, after it took ten minutes to get her attention, informed me that even takeout would take an hour and a half. Post-pandemic travel has found my mountain, clearly. So I took a chance on some tiny-western-town Thai food, which went better than expected.
And for the final event of Pinedale, I went back up Skyline Drive in an attempt to recreate a moment:
In my post-hike, post-takeout stupor, I left my camera at the hotel (which, turns out, is not without precedent in this region). I was mad at myself, but that passed quickly in the cool mountain air while I thoroughly enjoyed the moment, nonetheless.
Good things are coming.