Monday, September 24, 2012

Weekend in the Wyomings

A couple of weekends ago, we headed to the The Wyomings to enjoy a fall weekend outdoors. 

The Wyoming Range runs north-south for about 80 miles and is west of Pinedale.  It is one of several mountain ranges on the Bridger-Teton National Forest. It is part of the Big Piney Ranger District, one of the areas Matt works in.

This mountain range has a different feel than our nearby Wind River Mountains.  It is less remote and rugged.  The range is more open, with rolling hills and wide valleys spotted with sagebrush and willows.  There are still plenty of rugged peaks tucked in the backcountry.  Coniferous forests mixed with aspen groves blanket the mountainsides.

A well-maintained, extensive network of gravel roads allowed us to explore much of the area.  I loved soaking up fall's colors and crisp, cool air.

We stayed here, in the Snyder Basin Guard Station.  Built in the 1930's by the CCC, it once served as a bunkhouse for forest rangers.  It is still owned and maintained by the Forest Service but is now year-round, rentable lodging for the public.  

The cabin provided us a very nice and cozy weekend home.  It is equipped with heat, lighting, cook stove, and refrigerator--all run on propane. During summer months (including our stay), there is also running water.  There is an outhouse located behind it.  The cabin has two rooms--the kitchen and the bedroom which has two bunkbeds.

On Saturday, we enjoyed a spectacular hike up the Long Hollow Trail.  We were rewarded with awesome views at the top.

The Wyomings are known for being a place of solitude.  Since they are not as well-known as their sister Wind River Mts, they usually provide opportunity to get away from the crowds (if there is such a thing in Wyoming).  We happen to be there on opening day of deer hunting season (hence Matt's attire).  This meant the forest felt downright overrun! We encountered at least four hunting parties along the trail.  Most were leaving empty handed, except for the two young boys hauling out a large buck.  Pretty impressive.

We are continually impressed at what a good hiker Isaac is.  He loves it!  He even seems genuinely to appreciate the natural beauty.  He often points at the trees, lakes, mountains, and valleys surrounding him and calls out in awe.  I just hope we don't wear him out before he's old enough to hike on his own two feet!

Lovin' Daddy.

Back at the cabin, playing the guitar.

On Sunday, we slowly made our way out of the mountains, stopping to sight see along the way.  We stopped for a while for Matt to fish the creek in the photo above.  He caught a large, beautiful cutthroat trout, and of course, I did not have the camera with me.  Bummer!

Playing the guitar, what else?

On our drive out on Sunday, we enjoyed views of the Red Cliffs set against vibrant fall yellows and oranges.


What a wonderful fall weekend!!  
(Isaac insisted on sitting by himself for this picture.  Uh oh! He's already becoming independent!)

We enjoyed our time at the cabin so much that I think we will have to make this an annual fall tradition.  I am grateful we had that weekend together because on the following Monday, Matt was assigned to work a fire and became practically absent from our lives.  Over the next seven days, he and Isaac got to see each other for a total of about an hour.  When Matt came home late last night, he announced, "I'm done!".  Daddy is back--yay!

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