Sunday, January 31, 2010

To really get the feel of the magnificent country depicted in these photos simply click on an image for enlargement
February1, 2010
I really believed that by now I would be able to get out into the country doing what I love to do. Research for my art work. Back in October the Doctor told me that about mid January I would be able to put my full weight on my foot. I guess I thought that meant I would be up and running at that point. Not so. I have gotten to the point that I can put weight on it but only gingerly can I move about on "haphazardly" one crutch. And that is exhausting. I am pretty impatient about how slow this healing process is. With all that in mind I ran across a number of photos I had taken on one of my memorable pack trips about ten years ago that really impressed me and thought it would be great to share it with all my followers of OUTDOOR ADVENTURES. it has been awhile since I have posted to that site and I felt I needed to provide something.
This particular trip is from the crossing of Bear Creek Pass and then going up what we call Kodachrome Basin and into the headwaters of Wiggins Fork NE of Dubois, Wyoming in the Absaroka Wilderness.
We had spent about three days at the head of Bear Creek. Exploring and doing quite a bit of painting in some spectacular country right at timberline. This scene is from above our camp the last evening we were at Bear Creek. The pass we were to take the next morning runs up to the left of these towering peaks.
February1, 2010
Early in the morning we pack up and head over the pass. We were a little apprehensive about what we might find even here in mid July as a huge snow bank at the top of the pass can prohibit anyone from descending this pass.
We luck out. The snowbank is passable and over the edge we plunge.
February1, 2010
It was definitely steep, slow going and spectacular. We are at the head of Caldwell Creek at this point.
That pink colored mountain dead ahead is just a teaser of the color that is to come. As we descend I notice something high at the top of that mountain peering over at us. Doesn't look like a sheep but I can't make it out with the naked eye. As soon as we get a break I dig the binoculars out of my saddlebag and discover it is a huge Mule Deer Buck. He surely didn't get to the top from this side. He seems to be enjoying watching this show and had probably never witnessed a parade such as this.
February1, 2010
After leaving the pass it was a long morning descending into timber and finally about lunch time turning up a fork of Caldwell Creek we call Kodachrome Basin. We enjoy lunch at the edge of timberline and are off into the oddest colored country I have ever witnessed in the mountains.

February1, 2010
Every imaginable color and hue surround us through the afternoon ride up this valley. Reds, oranges, yellows violets and even greens. All left by the cataclysmic forces of nature from volcanos and lava flows that covered this landscape many centuries ago.

February1, 2010
Wild side canyons rent by erosion of the soft volcanic material feed into this beautiful steep climbing basin. Each canyon seemingly a different amazing color.
February1, 2010
A break along the way allowed me to get a few pictures and just gaze in wonder at the sights that surround us. That is me with the hungry horse who takes advantage of the stop to grab a mouthful. Fellow artist Mark Gale is just in front of me. Mark was working on some pretty good size pieces on this trip. I stayed with miniatures.
February1, 2010
Sometime after mid afternoon we finally cross the pass and drop down into Wiggins Fork and the color changes abruptly to the more gray colors so prevalent in much of this country. The landscape itself though is no less spectacular. We spot several large herds of elk all congregated in the middle of huge snowfields where they can escape the flies and mosquitos that torment man and beast. This is truely raw wilderness at its best and just a small part of the largest wilderness system in the continental United States. I have since been on a number of trips into this remote area over the years but never as spectacular as the basin we traversed today.
February1, 2010
We did spend several days painting and exploring the country along the headwaters of Wiggins Fork befor continuing on out to civilization. Following Wiggins Fork from its meager beginnings into a large mountain stream surrounded by dense forest and towering volcanic faces. It is not till mid afternoon and nearly to the trailhead at Double Cabins that we run into any people. The first we have seen in a week.