WIND RIVER ALTERNATE
CDT Day 47: 20 miles – 32 km
Sunday June 2, 2019
It was a glorious Sunday morning in the beautiful town of Lander. I was so tempted to stay another day but Hammer was keen to get going and make our way north. Our plan was to walk on secondary roads to Dubois, a distance of about 75 miles.
On the way out of town we stopped at the Crux Cafe for another coffee before hitting the open road. It was 12pm when we left Lander following N 2nd Street and crossing the Middle Fork of the Popo Agie River. Dark clouds were gathering behind us. This seems to be a bit of a pattern developing for us.
We stayed on the north side of the river for some time before deviating away to go up into the hills. Following our mapped route took us through the Wind River Indian Reservation land, home of the Shoshone and Arapahoe tribes.
The view of the Wind River Range to the west of us was sensational. We were loving the Mississippi side of the Range. As disappointing as it is not be hiking the Cirque of the Towers in the Wind River Range, I’m so happy that we are not up there now attempting to go through. Although yesterday we did meet up with Tuna Roll, who is a part of the Warrior Expeditions abd we first met him in Grants, he has decided to venture in alone. Seeing the Range from our vantage point I can’t help but worry that he will be OK.
It was a lovely couple of hours hiking on dirt roads with views over lush green fields back towards Lander and the snowy peaks on the Range. The dirt road eventually ended and we were on asphalt Mill Creek Rd and then the Blue Sky Highway (Route 132). Although a highway is a bit of a misnomer, it was a single lane in each direction road that was not all that busy.
We were passing by the Wyoming Indian High School when a car pulled up. They were curious what were doing. When I explained, they laughed, it confirmed what they thought – we were silly to be walking. The 4 kids in the back seat were happy to be on school holidays and wished us a good hike before they drove away.
We were walking through Indian Tribal lands. It was almost almost 6pm when we stopped at a small town, Ethete. We got a cold drink from the service station and sat outside to take a break. A couple of fellas walked by and invited us to attend a Pow Wow which was taking place in the Hall across the road.
A couple of locals in colourful traditional dress walked by while we were considering attending. Their outfits had bells attached and made a beautiful tingling sounding when they moved. I would have dearly loved to have gone to watch the dances but it will get dark in a couple of hours and we still have to find a camp site. This was not going to be so easy with so much private housing on the route out of this small town.
We walked out of town for a couple of hours and spotted a hollow by the side of the road. It was protected from the wind and from being seen by passing cars. We had great views out over a grazing meadow and towards the snow covered Wind River Range in the distance.
Today was a pretty good day hiking on an alternate route where we had no idea what to expect.