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Discussion in 'Americas' started by Blaise W, Mar 8, 2012.
Have a ball fellas!
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Promise! Wheels turn in 10 minutes!
Sorry for the silence last few days, guys. I just got back last night from major explorations on South Pass ...But didn't get into the fire-danger zones.
Anyway, in all of Wyo's Bridger-Teton Nat'l Forest, there is a Stage I fire restriction in place. You can read the details here. Liquid-fueled stoves are OK; fires outside official, Forest Service-provided fire pits/rings are banned.
The stone fire ring in my photo is not exempt from the fire ban. The fire ring must be an official one provided by the Forest Service, typically the metal ones you often see in campgrounds. Again, read the info sheet in the previous link.
On South Pass, I was surprised at how mild, even warm, it was the couple of nights I camped. But it is cooling. NO MOSQUITOES! Perfect daytime weather, full moon, etc.
In the mountain valleys, however, nights will be getting cold. Cold air sinks down into the valleys and settles in for the night. It always surprises me how cold September nights get in mountain valleys.
I hang food in trees at night. You will see many primitive campsites with boards nailed up between aspens, which makes it easier.
Aspens and cottonwoods and such are just now beginning to turn color at higher elevations ...
Black bears typically will run away if you bang a pot and yell. They tend to be an annoyance, but still deserve respect. Do take proper food-storage precautions. I'm no chemist, and I've never seen a review of the effectiveness of individual brands of bear spray, but they seem basically the same, so I'm sure any of the standard pepper sprays you can buy at Sportsman's Warehouse or similar outdoor suppliers will suffice. Best to just not tempt them with fragrant foods and stealthy backwoods behavior. Make noise. Also, I have read of studies that state clearly that spray is far more effective than a pistol, the latter have very low effectiveness against a pissed-off charging grizz, spray being highly effective. (Begin raging debate in space below ...)
I've been camping in the northern Rockies for about 30 years; I don't own a hard-sided camper. My wife and I camp in primitive places, not campgrounds. I cannot recall ever having a bear encounter. In California's Sierra Nevada, on the other hand, I had many bear encounters.
My final thought: Please leave as little trace of your passage as possible, and leave every campsite cleaner than you found it.
While exploring South Pass this week, I found "No trespassing" and "Private Property" signs posted on the Oregon Trail route east of historic Twin Mounds at this point: N42.37025 W108.72714. So the east-west Oregon Trail route between Oregon Buttes Road (east of Hwy 28) and Riverview Cutoff Road (the Great Divide Route road into Wyo's "big empty" region) is closed by the landowner at that point. (Lots of private land along the Sweetwater River.) So use the standard route via Atlantic City (where RawHyde Adventures had a tour camped out at Miner's Delight B&B).
Also, I found two campsite waypoints I've been citing to be inaccurate. Here are the coordinates I got from each site whiole on this trip.
Pine Creek primitive camp (among my favs): N42.43247 W108.82717. It's among some trees and rocks on the east side of South Pass City Road.
BLM's Continental Divide Trail primitive camp on the Sweetwater River, just off Riverview Cutoff Road southeast of Atlantic City: N42.38983 W108.62150 This one is accessed via the rocky track at the cattleguard on the main road just south of the river. The cattleguards in the road on each side of the river mark the boundaries between public BLM land and the privately owned banks of the Sweetwater River on both sides. Most of both banks of the river are private land.
Here is the BLM campsite. Imagine the wagon trains that once gathered there to feed, water and rest:
Thanks for all the information Tony.
We will be in Yampa by this time next week.
I was curious as much as anything about the bear spray. We were in Yellowstone near the entrance by Cody next to a small stream about 18 years ago. My youngest at the time 4 pointed and said look dad a bear, while I was bent down putting his shoes on. I stood and turned only to see a really large adult male grizzly about 40 ft from us.
He calmly walked by us, then crossed the stream we had just been wading in and walked away. Never cared about us at all. My wife was ready to leave at that point.
I've heard too many stories that didn't end as well though. Might have to look at getting some bear spray. We'll take precautions with food, and leave it cleaner than we found it too.
Only John knows if we were planning on either of the campsites you mentioned.
Thanks for the heads up.
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And I ain't tellin'!! hehe... Really I don't have any set in stone places like Ken has planed. Since we are camping I'm sorta wingin it and relying on the most excellent info in the original file.
Thanks for the great intel Tony. I'm glad to see your admonishment to leave it cleaner than you found it. For a very long time I've had the habit of picking up a can or bag or beer box every time I ride. I cannot get it all but it's better than I found it. It's small but if everyone did it what a difference it would make.
YikesMizzouRider! That's one helluva a close encounter!
John, I'm glad I've a kindred spirit on that point. I believe in Leave No Trace practices, as much as possible anyway. As our form of backcountry travel grows, we've got to keep it sustainable ... and just as great for the next generation of vagabonds.
We are in Colby Kansas for the night. Headed to Oak Creek in the morning to meet the rest of the gang. Can't wait!
Thought you guys were starting in Yampa? That is where BigDon and RickM are at. Broke bread with them this morning in Buena Vista -- too bad this thing starts up north or I could have seen you all off in style.
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Yeah we had a little mix up. They thought it was Oak Tree and we are at Oak Creek. Wish we could have met up. Really wish you could have come along with us Hope you and Beth are doing well.
Hey John - Have a great trip. I'll be watching for the report.
Say hey to Don & Jeff.
Is this really Tom Cruise?
Looks like SourJohn and the boys are lunching in Rangly, CO
I fixing to get ready for work. My buds are out on the road in Utah. It ain't fair!!
Dude, quit your belly-aching. At least you are on the other side of the country from them. Me, they are riding through my backyard and I'm stuck here in my dungeon working! Heck, I know for a fact you've ridden more miles in my own state than I have this year!!!!
I knew when you got pets that your riding would slow down.
Here is a pic to dream about - The Famous 3 Dans pic:
Wonder why they are all stopped in the middle of nowhere....... Flat tire is what I expect, unless they encountered some aliens or something strange like that....
Where are they? I can't make it out.
South of Atlantic City, Wyoming.
Here is their group tracking page: