The cute little 260 souls community of Ten Sleep has been named after an old Shoshone Indian location descriptor. From Ten Sleep to Laramie, WY used to be a ten day (sleep) trip. The town is located at 4200ft/ 1280m on the south-west side of the Bighorn National Forest bordering the Cloud Peak Wilderness. Cloud Peak is the highest elevation of the Bighorn Mountains at 13166 ft/ 4013 m.
Because of the low altitude of Ten Sleeps, the temperatures were definitively too hot for any meaningful outdoor activity. We did however find plenty of relieve in the higher regions of the Bighorn Mountains. The marvelous Cloud Peak Skyway (Highway 16) from Ten Sleep to Buffalo climbs within 20 miles/ 32km to the Powder River Pass at 9666ft/ 2950m. Up there the air was cool and crisp and much more to our liking.
We enjoyed some leisurely walks on Meadowlark Lake, hiked to the East Ten Sleep Lake and frequented the trailheads on West Ten Sleep Lake. Particularly the Misty Moon Trail and the Lost Twin Lakes Trail, both starting at West Ten Sleep Lake, were fantastic and offered great access to the Cloud Peak Wilderness. We saw a group of backpackers using large goats as pack animals. I never saw anything like this before, horses are frequently used to carry people and equipment, but goats were something new to me.
In general, Wyoming demonstrated a lively horse culture. Every little town has a rodeo place and cowboys and horses are always present. Folks bring their horses in trailers to the national forest campgrounds. These trailers frequently provide space for the horses and also provide a living quarter for the humans. Living with horses under one roof sounds like an interesting experience. Both Wyoming locations I visited this year were very enjoyable. Wide open spaces, dramatic and beautiful landscapes, friendly people, no crowds and a slow way of living. Life is good.
Meanwhile we made it to Three Forks, MT about 20 miles west of Bozeman. Cooper will undergo knee surgery on Monday. We will linger around Bozeman for approximately 6 weeks or as long as he needs veterinary support for the recovery. Let’s hope Cooper will be able to run again by the end of this year.
Last but not least, I hope you all pay attention to the action in Washington. Our orange Fuehrer is definitively loosing his marbles. What a nightmare.
You all stay tuned.