[cdt-l] Wyoming wandering

Jim and/or Ginny Owen spiriteagle99 at hotmail.com
Thu Jun 28 01:11:47 CDT 2007

Our last update put us headed north from Colorado.  We stopped along the way 
at Independence Rock – a rocky outcrop that was a Fourth of July stop for 
emigrants along the Oregon Trail.   It has probably thousands of names of 
people who passed by carved into the rock.  Many of them have faded over the 
years, but we found some names from 1850.  One surprise for us was that up 
to 50,000 people passed this way some years.  The total number of emigrants 
over the years was estimated at half a million.

Our next stop was at Sinks Canyon State Park near Lander, WY.  It’s a unique 
canyon where the stream drops into a cavern and resurfaces a quarter mile 
later.  The kicker is that the water takes two hours to traverse that 
quarter mile.  So --- where does it go during that time?  Nobody seems to 

Last year we were forced to skip about 40 miles of the CDT through the Gros 
Ventre Wilderness by the Purdy fire (http://www.inciweb.org/incident/402/ ). 
  This year we came back to hike that section of the Trail. We just got off 
the trail this afternoon.

I think we’re either the first or second/third hikers to go through the 
section from Union Pass to Togwotee Pass this year.  If there were any 
tracks, we didn’t see them.  But we did find several used Kleenex and a 
fresh cigarette butt.  Yuck.  We also found several spark plugs, a ratchet 
wrench, several beer cans (Bud Lite, of course),  and a spark plug socket.  
They were all a long, long way from a road – so the conclusion is that they 
were dropped by snowmobilers sometime last winter.

On the other hand, our first day on the trail we saw over 100 elk, a mess of 
antelope, a red-tail hawk, a deer, a flock of sandhill cranes and a bear (a 
brown black bear).  One of the sorta funny things was that just after we saw 
the first elk herd (3 adults and 2 calves) we found a Carsonite post on 
which someone had written: “There’s no f..ing elk here. Kill the wolf”  
Within a mile we saw another herd of at least 35 elk.  And then another herd 
of 50.  Some people need their eyes adjusted.  We saw moose, deer and elk 
the next two days, but not in such abundance.

It was a really good hike, with beautiful flower filled green meadows, lots 
of water, and some navigational challenges to spice up the journey.

For those who might be interested, there’s a much longer, more detailed 
report of the last 3 days at 
But I suspect few people will have a lot of interest in that level of 

>From here, we’ll head west to the Tetons, then – well, we’ll figure that out 
later.  But we’ll be in Montana by next week.

Walk softly,
Jim & Ginny


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