Wind River Range – a Bomber Basin & Ross Lakes loop

This year’s trip in Wyoming’s Wind River Range was 7 days in the Fitzpatrick Wilderness, in the northeast area.  Starting at the Trail Lake trail head south of Dubois, we ascended south into Bomber Basin to near Turquoise Lake, then east over a saddle into the adjacent basin, then descended north past Lake 10359, Mile Long Lake, Upper Ross Lake, and Ross Lake.  Both of these basins were gouged-out by glaciers and it really showed, with the characteristic U-shape and lots of grooved granite slabs.

Nancy Pallister’s great book describes the route (#42 in 2nd edition) as 22 miles but most is off-trail so we expected some tough slow hiking and that’s exactly what we got.  Oh, and some snow too.

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Grays and Torreys Peaks

Grays Peak (14278′) is the 10th highest peak in the Rocky Mountains and along with neighboring Torreys Peak (14274′), is a very popular destination.  RC and I were fresh from the Never Summer Wilderness trip with 3+ days of altitude-acclimation and figured that was a pretty good warm-up for climbing a 14er or two.  RC has climbed many 14ers but not Grays nor Torreys.  I tried Huron 6? years ago and failed, but learned some stuff.

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Never Summer Wilderness – Baker Gulch, Parika Lake

Colorado’s Never Summer Wilderness borders Rocky Mountain National Park on the west.  7 of us did a 2-night trip along the Baker Creek, Baker Gulch, and Parika Lake trails.  Highlights included great scenery, mostly-good weather, wildflowers, more moose than any of us had seen before, and a bear!

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Leave No Trace

Today I joined the ranks of Leave No Trace (LNT) Master Educators. I graduated with 8 others from a 5-day course conducted at the Steel Creek area of Buffalo National River (BNR) by 2 trainers from the Leave No Trace Center For Outdoor Ethics.  The cost of this training is typically in the $650-900 range but a grant from the Walton Family Foundation covered all our costs so that is greatly appreciated by all.

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No more advertising!

Since starting this web site almost 7 (!) years ago, I’ve used WordPress’ free service
where they run ads to offset at least some of their cost.  For about 15 years I’ve used Privoxy to eliminate most advertising and tracking stuff while browsing.  I recently saw what my site looks like to the rest of the world  – without Privoxy – and was a bit shocked at how intrusive the ads could be.

I’ve now upgraded to a paid-for service level that eliminates the advertising. I’m sorry it took so long.

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OHT Stack Rock Reroute

Construction of a 1-mile reroute around the May ’17 landslide near mile 152 of the Ozark Highlands Trail is nearly complete – close enough that a detour is no longer needed.

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OHTA Lopsterfest ’17

A group of 6 maintainers of the Ozark Highlands Trail gathered at the Woolum Rec Area on the Buffalo River for Lopsterfest ’17 – good fun, good food, custom t-shirts, and a chance to give our loppers a good workout.

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Upper Buffalo Wilderness

It’s hard to believe it has been four years since my first visit.  This weekend I finally made it back to the Upper Buffalo Wilderness for a 2-night backpacking trip with a friend from Kansas City (RC).

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Weed-Whacking Weekend at Williams Woods

The Williams Woods Nature Preserve is a 557-acre chunk of land owned by the Ozark Highlands Trail Association and located a bit northeast of St Paul in Madison County Arkansas.  The land was bequeathed to OHTA in 1993 by Alpha Williams, who lived there most of her life and wanted to ensure it was preserved rather than exploited.  OHTA has secured a conservation easement and now has the property for sale.

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Ozark Highlands Trail maps

It’s taken way too long but I’ve finally finished a set of maps for the Ozark Highlands Trail.  They are in a 17-page PDF that is intended for printing on 11″ x 17″ paper (or viewed on-screen).  Notable features:

  • Free download!  Can be printed by The UPS Store or many big-box office supply stores.
  • Non-Forest Service property is highlighted to help you avoid trespassing if you wander off-trail.
  • Many well-known waterfalls in the vicinity of the trail are marked.
  • 1:24000 scale and 40′ contour lines like the USGS quad maps.  Higher resolution and more detail than the fancy folding maps sold by the OHTA.
  • Up to date.  The new mile marker locations are shown (between April ’16 and August ’17 the OHTA replaced all mile markers with new ones in different locations).  Map #16 even shows the proposed re-route around the May ’17 Stack Rock landslide.
  • Boundaries for Wilderness and Special Interest Areas.
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