Sunday, August 7, 2011

August 4, 2011
I have an appointment with the Meyers family, friends from Scottsdale, Arizona and Tory and Merideth Taylor for a get-to-gether lunch at the top of Bonneville Pass on the continental divide east of Brooks Lake near Dubois, Wyoming.  Devon Meyers was with us on most of our wilderness art packing adventures a few years back.
I arrive a little early and seek out the little boys room which happens to be the first outhouse at the Brooks Lake east campground.  I am a little shocked upon entering fo find a rug in front of the privey.  To the side is a table with a table cloth and on that are a number of magazines, an Orvis catalog and paperback books and a wildflower bouquet in a glass jar.  A hand sanitizer container sits there also.  An old dial-up telephone also sits atop the table.  Its cord going nowhere.  A few pictures adorn the wall.  I don't remember if it smelled in there or not but if it did you would not have notices with all this decor.  Someone has a lot of imagination and fortitude.  Later in the day I asked my friend who is the cmpground host at the adjoining campground.  He informs me that the host there did it as a lark.  He tells me that the U S Forest Service actually got a letter from a camper complaining that the phone did not work.??? Guess some folks expect everything.  I think it ought to be included with Ripley's Believe it or not.
August4, 2011
We all meet at the Bonneville trailhead and right away have to ford Bonneville Creek.  It is a lot higher than normal for this time of year attesting to the fact there is still a lot of snow in the high country.  This trail has only been open for negotiating in the past couple of weeks and I hear horses are still having to negotiate a big snow drift dropping off the pass into the upper DuNoir.  the event leaves us all with wet feet for the remainder of the day.
August 4, 2011
The deep reds of the Wyoming state flower.  The Indian Paintbrush.  The red being only the coloration of its leaves like a poinsetta.  The flower is only an inconspicuous green buried in all that red.  This is a parasitic plant deriving its nutrients off a host plant.  Coming in many variations of color from mountains to plains-it is spectacularly beautiful.
August 4, 2011
The slow climb upwards is through open forest and meadow eventually leaving the creek views of the breccia Cliffs and Sublett Peak are at our backs.  Clouds create fast moving shadows that dance across the landscape.  Blues, yellows, reds, and whites of wildflowers surround us with their sweet odors.
Augus 4, 2011
We pass a beautiful side valley that ends in a circular bowl at the top.  Jules Bowl still contains a lot of snow from this past winter.
August 4, 2011
Near the top we come to one of my favorite spots along the trail.  7 Falls.  A tiny stream that courses its way off the slopes of Austin Peak above dropping on below into Bonneville Creek.  It is a pleasant soothing fall of water creating a melody of sound.
August 4, 2011
We reach the pass and have a quick lunch as the mosquitos are terrible.  I am sure we all received our protein with every breath.  Bonneville Pass is a long stretched out meadow ringed by peaks on all sides befor dropping off into the upper DuNoir to the east.  It is usually very wet walking and this year doubly so.  We left the trail and headed for higher ground to get out of the watery quagmire.  Bighorn Sheep can often be spotted on the peaks above but not so this day.
After lunch Merideth and the two Meyers kids are busy searching out and picking various edible plants.  Merideth is teaching a class on this very subject in Dubois this weekend.  There are plenty available.  Along with some no-no's that she points out to the kids they quickly accumulate what they need.  Those kids are really into this-tasting and picking away.
August 4, 2011
It is an uneventful hike back to the trailhead.  I had really expected to find bear sign on the trip.  but nothing.  We did find here and there along the trail an old wolf track in the dried out mud.  Crossing the creek was no big deal as my boots were wet from the days activities. 
Coming back out from the trailhead I drop in on Richard, the campground host at the Brooks Lake west campground and friend of mine who has taken to doing plein-aire painting.  We visit a while and I move on  taking a few pictures such as this favorite scene of mine of the outlet of Brooks Lake.
August 4, 2011
The Breccia Cliffs to the west of Brooks lake with the trail heading out into the far back country makes for an end of day photo.  Many pack trips originate here and head into the Teton Wilderness Area.  The Thoroughfare, and Yellowstone are acessed by this trail and covers miles of the most extensive wilderness in the continental United States.