Wind River Range, Bridger Wilderness, Pinedale, Wyoming:
The West was drier than it had been in years. Two nearby fires were almost under control. Elkhart Park was closed as well as the south entrance to Yellowstone, nowhere near our direction. After thirteen hours on the road we arrived at our friend’s home in Jackson Hole where we would spend the night. Our gear was unloaded, our food figured out, our backpacks packed and our age-old list, checked off, making sure everything was in order for an early departure in the morning.
In Hoback Canyon, ten miles south of Jackson, fire-fighting camps lined the highway and heavy smoke obscured the landscape. As the haze cleared, two sandhill cranes materialized in a meadow and watched us drive by, unconcerned at all the activity around them.