My Backcountry Wish List

One of my greatest life disappointments to date is giving up backpacking at such an early age. For a while I was as gung-ho as Colin Fletcher. Had all the gear and time in the world as I was single with no kids. I could have gone out for 2 or 3 weeks at a time instead of trying to become a scratch golfer (I wound up with a 8 handicap mostly due to poor course management and a "go for it" attitude.  I was "Tin Cup" before there was a Tin Cup).

Now that I just turned 43, I find myself crunched for time and regret the almost 20 years I "wasted" on the golf course or behind the computer. Now that I know I might have 10 good years left in me before old age takes it's toll on my already falling-apart body, I've devised a wish list of places I'd like to spend some extended time in the backcountry. Here is my list of places I want to go...


Popo Agie/Jim Bridger Wilderness/ Wind River Range MISSION ACCOMPLISHED
This one happened in July of 2006 [Trip report] and again in July of 2007 [Trip report]. I still have to get to the Cirque of the Towers, however, and the Fitzpatrick Wilderness via Angel Pass once tempted me like no other...but then I got older and now it doesn't seem like such a great idea.
Yeah, so I've been there three times already...Doesn't matter. I want to hike from Kintla Lake, over Boulder Pass. Besides, I had set a goal of hiking all of the main trails at Glacier that hasn't been met yet.  [7/2004 trip report]  [8/2005 trip report] [8/2007 trip report].
Yellowstone National Park:  The Bechler
I'd really like to spend a week carousing about Cascade Corner in the Bechler region, fighting off mosquitoes and bears. This one may happen in 2010 with Yumi, though 2011 is a more likely scenario.   [8/2003 trip report].      [Two days in 2006]
San Juan's in Colorado
Ever since reading a book by Peter Jenkins entitled "Walk Across America"as a teen this place has stuck in my memory. I thought about this one for 2009 but it's not going to happen for a few years---maybe part of a CDT attempt if I can ever get into shape?
I've got some unfinished business there in the Solitude Trail. Was going to attempt it solo the summer of '05 but either chickend out or wised up and did a much shorter hike. Tagging Cloud Peak itself wouldn't be bad, either. [7/2005 trip report]  [7/2008 trip report]
John Muir Trail
Not sure if this one will ever happen but it would be nice. Until my employer decided to max out PTO at 160 hours per year from the 200 it was when I started there, I was planning on this the year I turned 50. I'd probably need a full three weeks and a lot of luck to complete the 219 miles but it would be fun trying.
Washakie and/orTeton Wilderness  MISSION ACCOMPLISHED
I'm intrigued by the grassy plateaus and glaciated valleys and would like to do this in conjunction with hiking Yellowstone's Thorofare. Now I just have to figure out which wilderness is the one I want. I'm going to try to get there in 2010.  [Trip Report]  [Photos]
Anywhere Yumi wants to go
Most likely Zion National Park or somewhere in the southwest, although Yosemite is on her own list of must-sees.  A more likely scenario is backpacking somewhere tropical like in Hawaii.
A look into the future...
2012 One more trip with the Geezers somewhere along with step-son, Nick.
2013 With both my boys off to college and the Navy, I'm going to have more time to get out. I was beginning to ponder the feasability of attempting a long section of the CDT, but my knees are fried. I'm thinking about taking up fly fishing and doing a mega 20 mile loop over 7 or 8 days in the Beartooths or Sawtooths

Let's not get ahead of ourselves here.

To Top

July, 2011
Winter camping in the Beartooths in July
August, 2010
6 nights in the heart of the Absarokas
July, 2009
Another 7 nights with the crew in the Beartooths
August, 2008
7 nights in the Beartooths with Ward and the Canadian
July, 2008
5 nights in the Bighorns with a Canadian

August, 2007
Yumi and I return to GNP for some fun

July, 2007
6 nights in the heart of the Northern Winds
August, 2006
A 3-night solo in the Absaroka-Beartooth
July, 2006
Yumi and I spend 8 nights in the Winds
Aug-Sept., 2005
Dorf gets his GNP fix with 8 nights on the trail
July, 2005
A quickie solo in the Cloud Peak Wilderness
July, 2005
Our return to GNP aborted 6 hours in :-(
July, 2004
Two weeks of camping and backpacking in Glacier.
September, 2004
Yumi and I get to the Porkies before fall arrives
July, 2004
Yumi and I take the kids to the Porkies
June, 2004
Todd and I prove that last years' Newport debacle was no fluke
October, 2003
Yumi and I test some more gear and nearly die
September, 2003
Yumi and I decide to do a little camping & test gear


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