Another girls’ 4-wheeler excursion! This time Julie, Jo, and I traveled some trails on Union Pass, near Dubois, WY.
This high mountain pass (elevation: 9,212 ft.) is rather unique, since it’s a spot on the Continental Divide from which 3 major mountain ranges spiral off: the Wind River Range shoots off to the east, the Gros Ventre Mountains to the west, and the Absaroka Mountains to the north. Also, it’s an area of many rivers, and from this point, rain drops, depending upon where they land, may get directed to the Colorado River, the Columbia River, or the Missouri River. Uniting these mountains and rivers, this crossing was appropriately name “Union” Pass. The pass was used by Native Americans and early mountain men, and in 1811 the Astor Expedition used it on their journey to the west. On their return trip, however, they decided to take a more southern route to avoid hostile Indians; that’s when they discovered South Pass. Later, Jim Bridger, famed mountain man and guide, led the Raynolds Expedition to explore the Yellowstone Region. It was U.S. Army Captain, William F. Raynolds, who gave the pass its present name in 1860. (Wikipedia: Union Pass)
|Time to loosen straps and unload the ATV's.|
We unloaded the three machines, and then first headed northwest to Fish Lake. It was about 15 miles on a very nice dirt road.
One of the interesting aspects of the scenery on the way to the lake is the area where a fire burned a sizable amount of acreage a few years ago. In the spring, the Fireweed blossoms are absolutely gorgeous, and create a very colorful carpet in contrast with the burned timber.
|Fireweed grows well in areas where a fire has ravaged the landscape.|
|Indian Paintbrush was still in bloom.|
These pictures were taken August 9, 2012, so I was actually surprised that we were able to still see the road lined with Fireweed this late in the season. Plus, it’s been unusually hot and dry. What a treat!
On to Fish Lake…