Monday, July 28, 2014

Day 49: Green River Lake Campground to Trailside Camp (Mile 1,892)

With frequent backward glances back up the Green River to the breathtaking Wind River Range, we hiked on into the rolling hills. Several varieties of bright yellow sunflowers blanketed the hillside, with a sprinkling of lupine, fireweed, wild roses, and other colorful wildflowers. We passed through aspen and pine forests, crossed the Roaring Fork River, then climbed steeply to Gunsight Pass. 

Dark, towering thunderheads greeted us in the other side of the pass. We watched the rain on a nearby ridge, then descended. 

"Mooooooooo!  Moooooooo!"  Loud cries alerted us to cattle grazing in the woods. We encountered several herds, including many cows, calves, and at least one bull as we followed the trail through the woods and into open grazing land. 

Climbing back into the trees, we passed a series of mosquito infested swamps. Plagued by mosquitoes and biting flies alike, we hurried past as quickly as possible. Despite liberal application of insect repellent, both the mosquitoes and biting flies demonstrated an impressive instinct for choosing places to bite that are difficult to protect, such as the thin strip of flesh between my sunglasses and hat. 

Late in the afternoon we spotted a large herd of elk grazing on the ridge. The elk loped away as we approached. 

Looking west, the Grand Tetons and Mount Moran rose up to the clouds off in the distance. The clouds continued to gather as we found a camp in the trees near Bull Moose Creek.

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