Day 9: Goat Flats and the Finish

Sunday 7/30/2017, 13.0mi/20.9km

Tarn below Downs Mountain (83.8/12,220ft) – Trail Lakes Trailhead (96.8/7,610ft) (WY)

We slept in and woke up at 6:30am instead. There were no storms last night! I slept really well. We packed up, and our fellow camper is already gone – we saw him in the distance climbing Downs Mountain. We left camp, and attempted to contour over to No Mans’ Pass, but some cliffs prevented that. So after a tiny climb, we dropped down into the pass. It was a nice looking camp area, but no water…our spot was better.

IMG_20170730_073749870-2752x1548

We climbed a little up to Goat Flats. Quickham went left of a small ridge, and when it ended, he was a few hundred yards away! I stayed higher to avoid making a PUD. Then, the terrain flattened out, and I saw why it’s named Goat Flats.

IMG_20170730_083648426-2752x1548

Eventually, our paths diverged enough to make communication almost impossible, and I stopped and refilled my water.

IMG_20170730_083652022-2752x1548

Quickham and I re-merged, and then aimed for the left side of Goat Flats, while we slowly descended towards a trail in the distance. On the way down, we saw goats! Yup, aptly named.

IMG_20170730_095841733-2752x1548IMG_20170730_100105340-2752x1548

Goats in action!

The rocks diminished as we descended, and we contoured over to the trail/saddle. We reached trail around 10:30am, after only 3 hours of cross-country on easy flat terrain.

IMG_20170730_103839057-1548x2752

The trail cruised downhill, and the newly-built trail to Bomber Falls was nice and maintained.

IMG_20170730_110250010-2752x1548IMG_20170730_111750407-1548x2752

We kept descending, and the greenery and flowers came back!

IMG_20170730_112045342-2752x1548

After the first switchback, we crossed a creek and had an early lunch, and dried our bags/tents one last time (condensation). When the clouds increased, we hit the trail again.

IMG_20170730_112129618-2752x1548

It was such a nice trail, with many new switchbacks, all the way down to the East Torrey Creek.

IMG_20170730_124257744-1548x2752

After the trail merged with the river trail, we saw a few dayhikers. It was weird seeing, and smelling, clean humans.

IMG_20170730_133229275-1548x2752

We pound out the last hour to the trailhead under threatening clouds, passing a small waterfall along the way.

IMG_20170730_141351862-1548x2752

As we left the forest, I took some photos of the signs for the hikers entering. I like collecting pictures of the Wilderness signs!

IMG_20170730_141616633-1548x2752IMG_20170730_143245655-2752x1548

We arrived back to my car at 2:30pm.  First order of business: bathroom. Then we piled all our gear into my car, changed into some non-offensive clothes, and drove to nearby Dubois for a celebratory beer and meal.

IMG_20170730_143251397-2752x1548

We grabbed a Coors at the Rustic Tavern, and then went next door for food at Cowboy Cafe. It was delicious, and more filling than last year! Afterward, we drove the 90 minutes back to Lander and retrieved Quickham’s car, and then showered at the local gym for $4.

IMG_20170730_153747355-2752x1548

We picked up some groceries, and made dinner at the city park, where they also allow you to camp for free! We reminisced over some photos, and I was asleep by 10pm.

The Wind River High Route was amazing! It beat me up quite a bit, but I thought it had the perfect level of challenge, difficult but still attainable. And the solitude was unparalleled! Now I’m more comfortable in planning another “high route” that is on my list – the Sierra High Route, which is twice as long (195 miles). Watch for updates on this page for my other planned adventures.

-Recon

1 Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s