We attempted to get an early start; however, I have to say, it's become our routine to start out the morning with a hearty breakfast and good conversation before settling in the pickup and pulling the machines up to the mountains. So, we're not the first ones on the trail by any stretch of the imagination, but we are awake, relaxed, and ready for a full day.
Day One: Pinion Ridge
Playing the role of scout, this trail was all new territory for me, so we were in explore mode and hoped we would hit a winner. This trip required going all the way to the top of Union Pass before unloading. I studied the map and had the trail numbers pretty much in mind. First, I suggested we go all the way out to the end of the trail on the north side of Pinion Ridge. I was hoping there would be some pretty views as we went along the ridge, but that was not the case; we were in timber the whole time. But when we broke out of the timber and climbed a ridge to the end of the trail, the view of Green River Lake opened up, and it was a beautiful sight.
|Green River Lake|
|On the ridge, Dennis and Allen in the foreground behind my 4-wheeler.|
|Looking to the west, you can just make out the Grand Tetons. Too bad there's smoke in the air.|
Next, we went back down the ridge and explored another trail stretching north where (according to the map) there was a small lake, but we discovered that the road was closed before you could get to the lake. So, we ate lunch and decided to explore another area. After looking at the map, we took a chance on another trail, again hoping it would be worth the ride.
We happened to pick a very good path that lead us to the lower west end of the Green River Lake area. The trail took us through some beautiful, old groves of Aspens. In a couple weeks these big groves should be an absolutely glorious site as the leaves start to turn. We saw a big buck deer jump through the trees in front of us.
And then the view of the lake really opened up.
On the way out, it was a little tricky finding the right trail a couple of times because they weren't marked, and we had to backtrack a short distance twice. I think I have it clearly in mind for now, and if I'm able to return for the fall colors in a couple weeks, I feel pretty confident that I can lead my friends in and out on the right trails! It made for a long enough day (or enough butt-time, as the guys would say); we put 48 miles on our machines.
Day one on the trail ended very successfully: good views, perfect weather, easy riding. We stopped at the Cowboy Cafe for dinner...which was excellent, as usual.