"A walk across the Winds" Wind River by kokoryko

Wind River Travel Guide: 38 reviews and 170 photos

Am I a mountain man?

VT’s Wind River is a very small locality in Wyoming, but here I write about the Wind river Range which fortunately has the same name. . . . .

Ah! Trek in the Winds! It was really windy and the place is called the Winds by the local, because of . . . . . . the wind, . . . of course. . . !!
Well, the Wind River Range (The Winds) the highest mountains of Wyoming are a 300 km long North West –South East stretching mountain range separating the Wind river Basin to the North from the Green river Basin in the south. They are about 50-80 km wide and I had the silly idea to walk across this mountain end beginning October, on a solo trek, hoping to meet THE GRIZZLY (The cougar would have done too!), and have a fight with the beast in the remote mountain, with the trees, grass, rocks, sun or moon and snow as our witnesses! I am not fully serious about that possible meeting -allow me this literary license- but I dreamt of it, had some reason to expect this encounter, prepared myself, was ready for that.
But even having missed this encounter, I made a wonderful and enchanting solo trek, in a remote place, when in the middle part of my trek, the nearest human settlement was 60 miles away; I liked so much not seeing anybody during 4 days (the trek lasted 6 days all together), being alone in nature, the wild nature like at the beginning of time and space (almost) (well, there was a trail at least), communicating with the violent nature, its 80-120 km/h winds on the passes, the harsh nature with blizzard and minus 10°C temperatures greeting me in the morning, the ice on the rocks, the thunderstorms near the summits, the beautiful sunrises, so beautiful I only could cry and let my tears freeze on my cheeks, cry to thank the nature for her beauty and generosity, the immense pine tree forests, the summits, the mountain lakes mirroring the summits, resting in unnamed places, gaze at the stars at midnight, ah. . . so much more, like wakening up hoping the bear heard my wish, and came to visit me in my tent (it was only the noise of the trees. . . I may have been nervous, ha-ha), listening to the song of the wind in the trees, the birds calling, also the rocks and snow falling from the cliffs. This time in wilderness, my body, my brain, my soul, my heart, all needed this; a soul-brain-heart cleaning trip! Nothing has been cleaned or erased, but there is some “order” in my folders and files. . . . . .

Walking on the Old Ocean

The Winds, with their highest summit at Gannet Peak, (4200m) are made of a core of very old granitic rocks, dating from the middle and upper Proterozoic, (2.000 to 1000 million years) on which rest smoothly folded sedimentary strata of the late Proterozoic (600 million years) overlain by the Phanerozoic (from the primary to the Tertiary eras) . The sedimentary rocks tell the stories of beginning and evolution of life, the stories of the old oceans** which covered the area before it was uplifted in recent (Cretaceous, 80-100 million years, all is relative with this “recent”) times; the ocean sometimes retreated during few million years for climatic, continental drift reasons, came back after, and all this story can be read very detailed in the sedimentary strata. In more recent times as micro continents and island arcs were amalgamated to the main continent on the west, the Wind River core was uplifted again and thrusted from North East to South West; eyes used to look at nature can see that when going on the trail, noticing the strata are not visible on the south Western side, as they are overthrusted by the granitic rocks, and the slopes on that side are much steeper than on the North Eastern side where we can see all the succession of the sedimentary rocks, “read” them like an open book, for whom is used to read that sort of books.

** Vieil océan, aux vagues de cristal, tu ressembles
proportionnellement à ces marques azurées que l'on voit sur
le dos meurtri des mousses; tu es un immense bleu, appliqué
sur le corps de la terre: j'aime cette comparaison. Ainsi, à
ton premier aspect, un souffle prolongé de tristesse, qu'on
croirait être le murmure de ta brise suave, passe, en
laissant des ineffaçables traces, sur l'âme profondément
ébranlée, et tu rappelles au souvenir de tes amants, sans
qu'on s'en rende toujours compte, les rudes commencements de
l'homme, où il fait connaissance avec la douleur, qui ne le
quitte plus.
Je te salue, vieil océan!

From Lautréamont, « Les Chants de Maldoror », Chant 1, strophe 9

Marvelous Nature

My trek in the Winds led me from the Bridger National Forest and Bridger Wilderness over the Continental Divide via Jackass Pass (or Big Sandy Pass) to the Shoshone National Forest and the Popo Agie Wilderness; the last day was in the Wind River (Cheyenne and Shoshone) Indian reservation till Fort Washakie, located far down in the plain, on the highway between Lander and Dubois.
Steep climbs, river crossings, walking in the blizzard, rigging up the tent in the wind were not always fun, but part of the trek and had to be done; all the beauty (ies) of nature has (have) to be deserved in some way, should be deserved; nature reveals itself to the people who respect her, communicate (almost the religious sense of communication), with her; walking is a way to communicate with nature, begin to understand the world around us; and. . .. over matured blueberries picked after a long walk, eaten lying in the grass, looking at the summits, have really a special taste! No telephone, no car, no “culture”, noise or nuisance. . . the paradise is not far. . . . It has to be deserved and the associated dangers have to be accepted; I do not recommend that sort of trip (solo trek), it is my story which I share a little bit here, nothing more. There are special hazards when trekking alone; chances of dying because of accident or sickness are much “improved” simply because there is no one around to go for help; and I do not tell about wild animals, which are at home, after all! That’s it, only a trek account; a beautiful trek in wilderness, the place where I feel as much at home as in my house or flat in the city. And back to “civilization”, I met wonderful people like Heavy Eagle or Dave with his old red Mercedes cabriolet. . . . People are wonderful, too.
Click on picture to see how it is in real!

Note 1: I write this account in the first person style (I blabla, me, I this, I that, etc), it is easier for me, and at the end, it is a trip which I did alone, with me and myself, and it is a personal account; it is difficult for me and my poor English language skills to render some situations and feelings in another style.
Note 2: This trek appears in “tips”, as I could “only” have been able to load 8 pictures per travelogue, and write only 5 travelogues in the same page; number of tips is not limited, so there are tips more or less following the trek; rate them if you like (or dislike) what they tell, do not rate for their “usefulness”!

My photographs are not works of art, my writings are not literature.
Be kind, I posted them here, and I would appreciate you inform me if you intend to display them elsewhere! Merci!

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:The real world !
  • Cons:There can be nothing against real world!
  • In a nutshell:Walk in the Wind, it is worth, yes!
  • Last visit to Wind River: Oct 2007
  • Intro Updated May 29, 2008
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Reviews (38)

Comments (13)

  • AngMimi's Profile Photo
    Oct 28, 2011 at 4:37 PM

    Hermann, thats a beautiful trek in the wilderness, beautiful mountains, lakes, rivers, sunrises, pine trees,rocks, etc..thou no grizzly bear and cougars to be seen, and lastly interesting write ups of this wonderful journey. Thanks for sharing.Mimi

  • Paris92's Profile Photo
    Jan 31, 2011 at 2:21 PM

    These pages are so extraordinary! Congratulations on your Barney nomination!

  • chocolatecake's Profile Photo
    Jan 24, 2011 at 6:21 AM

    GOOD LUCK Dr. Hermann for the Barney Award!

  • mtncorg's Profile Photo
    Dec 1, 2010 at 6:49 PM

    The Cirque of Towers is just one of those places you sit in total awe. Solitude is fine as long as you are knowledgable. Square Top up in the northern part of the range is pretty incredible too. Great tour!

  • tiabunna's Profile Photo
    Dec 23, 2009 at 9:35 PM

    Thank you for the greetings card with this great photo Hermann, and very best wishes for 2010 from both of us also, we hope your year brings health, happiness and enjoyable travels.

  • fachd's Profile Photo
    Dec 23, 2009 at 5:45 PM

    Thanks Hermann for the beautiful postcard (great shot). Selamat Hari Natal dan Tahun Baru (2010). Fari and Kim.

  • Bwana_Brown's Profile Photo
    Dec 23, 2009 at 4:49 PM

    Hermann, this is a 5-star page all the way! I really enjoyed walking along with you as I sipped on my beer. Seriously, a fantastic experience and superbly documented. I was ice-fishing in Alberta this morning at -24 C, but the fish won!

  • BruceDunning's Profile Photo
    Nov 26, 2009 at 2:22 PM

    You certainly captured the beauty of the area; hiking sounded wonderful-in nature alone. Great work or art. My trip to Utah/Arizona was similar in spots of desert remoteness. I hiked alone in some areas and got car stuck 3 times. A great fun risky time

  • icunme's Profile Photo
    Jan 19, 2008 at 3:08 AM

    Great trek from beginning to end - - every word and every photo - the view of that tent pitched in the snow from my cozy little couch was humbling, indeed.............<(•¿•)>

  • Nemorino's Profile Photo
    Jan 3, 2008 at 3:14 PM

    Hello Hermann, thanks for your New Year's greetings. I very much enjoyed reading about your fantastic trek in the mountains of Wyoming, and looking at your superb photos. I grew up in Lincoln's home state of Illinois, but never heard that piglet story.


“Il me plait de courir sans but et sans raison . . . .”

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