A few weeks ago, I concluded my first season of instructing with NOLS in the Wind River Mountains, realizing a dream ten years in the making. It was everything I hoped it would be.
From boulder-studded, high alpine meadows to dense, beetlekill-ridden forests, I tromped over two hundred miles on and off trail. Over the course of those miles, I witnessed the Perseid Meteor Shower, swam in a few icy lakes, summited three peaks, and reacquainted myself with the wondrous Wind River Range. Along for the ride were two different groups of students: one group of sixteen and seventeen year olds eager (or so they thought…) to carry heavy packs and another group of twenty-three to sixty year olds who had opted for a lightweight course. They were wildly different courses. Beyond the obvious differences in age and course type, each member of each group brought with them their own strengths and weaknesses. Looking back on the summer, I am thrilled that moments of joy far outweighed those of struggle and hardship. It was a truly amazing summer.
Stories from the trail may have to wait, but here are some images from the mountains. Enjoy!