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Wild West #4: Pinedale, Wyoming

Sylvia and I spent about a week in Pinedale, Wyoming, with our daughter Isabel . Isabel took us on what I came to call a “death march” every day…meaning that it was more exercise than we’re used to, particularly in the mile-high elevation of Pinedale. But I loved it.

We saw an osprey in his or her nest near Half Moon Lake. The big fish hawk rose up and circled, making skirling chirps.

My favorite hike near Pinedale leads to the so-called “Sacred Rim,” a cliff at an elevation of nearly two miles with a sheer drop of perhaps a mile. Sitting on the edge of the cliff, I began getting some serious worries about being unwillingly sucked down by the great volume of empty space, and I moved back.

Pinedale was having a lot of growth a few years ago, due to the boom in natural gas drilling. That’s died down a bit, leaving, for instance, this blank real-estate developer’s sign. It looks like installation art, an abstract painting.

There’s a guy right outside the city limits who keeps a large number of abandoned vehicles in his yard. I like this one thirties-style car of his.

One day we went canoeing at the deserted Willow Lake near Pinedale, and picnicked on a tiny spit of sand halfway down the lake.

As usual, I was happy to look at the gnarly shapes of roots, water, rocks, clouds, and trees. It opens up my head to be so continuously away from the clamor of civilization.

We got back in the canoe soon after we noticed that there were grizzly-bear footprints on the beach.

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