Back to Bridger 2
Bridger Wilderness - Wyoming
Aug 2001 - Days 1 to 6
Day 1: Big Sandy Trailhead to Vee Lake
Day 2: Vee Lake to Lonesome Lake
Cirque of the Towers
Chickens to Jackass Pass!
Day 3: Lonesome Lake to Valentine Lake
Day 4: Valentine Lake to Grave Lake
Day 5: Grave Lake over Hailey Pass to Skull Lake
Day 6: Skull Lake to Camp near Big Sandy
Trailhead thru Forest Fire enroute.
Backpacks in "Chicken" mode at Big Sandy Lake
This was our second trip to Wyoming's Bridger Wilderness. Our first was in 1998. The scenery was awesome, but the fishing was only so-so, not like our previous trip. The guys usually like to surprise me with something unsuspected or outlandish and on this trip they pulled off a whopper. When we got to the trailhead, they pulled out four chickens that they had specifically raised over the summer for this purpose to my complete and utter consternation.
All in all, it was a great trip with covering 6 nights and 7 days (with the first and last being very short). In total, we hiked about 42 miles with 9600 ft of elevation gain mostly over 10000 ft. We set a record for Troop 24 at 12539 ft climbing a small knoll on the Lizard Peak trail surpassing the previous record of 12420 at Italy Pass in the Sierra Nevada, California in 1999.
In August 2001, only Shelby, Roger, and Austin were still in the scouts, so this trip was done as a "Kickass Trekker" trip.
Note photo titles ending in "j" are by Jason Smith; "r" by Roger Shively; all other photos & videos are by Cascade Bill
Kickass Trekkers on this trip were: Bill Mooseker,Fred Stong, Brian "Buckwheat" Sisk, Jason Smith, Danny Stallings, Peter Goodwin, Roger Shively, Shelby Stong, Austin Peckinpaugh
The descriptions under the photo thumbnails in the album sometimes contain links to maps or additional information. These are identified by "Blue” text for links. Maps are best viewed at original size.
I've revised this album recently. When I first uploaded this album back in late 2001, high speed internet was unheard of, so photo resolutions were pretty low in order to allow uploading at dial-up speeds. I've rescanned my photo negatives of this trip at the highest resolution available to me and replaced the old low resolution ones. I don't have access to the photos taken by Jason and Roger, so they remain at the low resolution. I've also digitized the Hi-8 videos that I took on the trip and have added them to the album.
Troop 24 Kickass Trekkers Backpacking Trip
-Cascade Bill Mooseker
Date(s): August 25-31, 2001. Album by Cascade Bill. 1 - 165 of 165 Total. 153 Visits.
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To get the plugin just Google "videolan" or CLICK HERE FOR DOWNLOAD for Windows. There is a MAC version as well. Disable the Quicktime plugin if you use Videolan. To view fullscreen videos click the icon on the top right of the video when it starts playing.
If you want to save photos to your computer, click the box under the thumbnails of the photos you want to download. Then click the "Download" button at the top of the album. Pick the size you'd like to download (Original is best)and the photos will be downloaded to a folder of your choice.
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PDF file showing mileages and elevations for our trip with daily summary for the miles hiked and elevation climbed and lost. Click on thumbnail and click on "Open this PDF" to view.
enlarge 107.50MB, 1024x682 Download MPEG4 3 2001 wy day1 vid 0 chickens.mp4 VIDEO - Click Photo to View.
After a long drive from Burley, Idaho and a lunch in Pinedale and another long drive on a washboarded dirt road we arrived at the Big Sandy trailhead in the late afternoon. As we were getting our gear organized, Roger brought out four chickens that they had hidden in Fred's Suburban for the nearly 1000 mile trip. My reaction is caught here.
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Big Sandy Trailhead: Getting ready to head out - chickens and all - Fred, Buckwheat, Peter, and Roger. Note: Lawn chair doubles as chicken carrier.
enlarge 109KB, 723x1024 5 brg002j Austin in chicken carrying mode - Big Sandy Trailhead
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Jason, Buckwheat, Shelby, Fred, Austin, and Roger - Finally on the trail.
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Jason in the shadows at our camp at Vee Lake- Big Sandy Mountain at center & Sheistler Mtn at Right.
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Because of our long drive, we got a very late start and rather than go hell bent for leather up the Big Sandy Trail, we took the longer route past Meeks Lake and then on to Vee Lake for a short 2.1 miles day.
enlarge 54.17MB, 1024x682 Download MPEG4 9 2001 wy day1 vid 1 vee lake.mp4 VIDEO - Click Photo to View. Fred and Jason enjoy the sunset at Vee Lake
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Roger putting the chickens to bed (They wanted to roost on Peter but he didn't think that was a good idea).
enlarge 103KB, 685x1024 11 brg006r2 Roger, who will never make it as a geek!
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Day 1: Big Sandy Trailhead to Vee Lake Day 2: Vee Lake to Big Sandy Lake (via Diamond Lake Trail) (This Map best Viewed at Original size)
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Trail between Vee Lake and Diamond Lake. Big Sandy Mtn at right center.
enlarge 57.08MB, 1024x682 Download MPEG4 14 2001 wy day2 vid 1.mp4 VIDEO - Click Photo to View. Heading out from Vee Lake in the morning.
enlarge 324KB, 731x1024 15 2001-366-031 Fred at Big Sandy Lake.
enlarge 124KB, 727x1024 16 brg009j Shelby & friend - break at Big Sandy Lake
enlarge 111KB, 723x1024 17 brg010j Jason, Brian, and Peter - Big Sandy Lake
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Day 2: Big Sandy Lake to Lonesome Lake vi a Jackass Pass. (This Map best viewed at "Original" size.)
enlarge 111KB, 1024x723 19 brg011j Danny & Austin - Big Sandy Mtn above Big Sandy Lake
enlarge 57.45MB, 1024x682 Download MPEG4 20 2001 wy day2 vid 2.mp4 VIDEO - Click Photo to View. Hiking past Big Sandy Lake and then up the Jackass Pass Trail.
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Junction of the Big Sandy and Jackass Pass trails at the upper end of Big Sandy Lake.
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View from trail above Big Sandy Lake - looking south.
enlarge 270KB, 1024x673 23 2001-366-034 View along trail above Big Sandy Lake.
enlarge 144KB, 768x1024 24 brg015j Bill making his way along trail.
enlarge 130KB, 1024x763 25 brg016j During a break- Shelby practices his rock climbing techniques.
enlarge 139KB, 755x1024 26 brg017j Jason trying his.
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Austin and Fred pick their way along a rough section of the trail up to Jackass Pass.
enlarge 148KB, 708x1024 28 brg019j Peter poses at the "Tooth" near Jackass Pass.
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On the last stretch up to Jackass Pass. Views from the pass of Lonesome Lake and the impressive Cirque of the Towers.
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The trail climbs high to a false summit and then drops a couple of hundred feet before the final climb to Jackass Pass. The peaks of the Cirque of the Towers are seen beyond.
enlarge 164KB, 760x1024 31 brg021j Fred checking out an interesting rock near Jackass Pass.
enlarge 55.03MB, 1024x682 Download MPEG4 32 2001 wy day2 vid 4 Jackass Pass 2.mp4 VIDEO - Click Photo to View. Taking a break at Jackass Pass
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The guys at Jackass Pass: (Front) Austin, Shelby, and Danny. (rear) Roger, Jason, Brian, and Peter.
enlarge 149KB, 1024x766 34 brg023j Back: Roger, Jason, Brian, and Peter. Front: Austin, Shelby, & Danny
enlarge 134KB, 1024x758 35 brg024j Peaks of the Cirque of the Towers- Pylon (left) & Watch Tower (right)
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From Left to Right: Sharks Nose, Overhanging Tower, Wolf's Head, & Pingora Peak - a favorite of the climbers who come to the Cirque of the Towers.
enlarge 109KB, 1024x720 37 brg026j Pingora Peak on the left and Texas Pass on the right.
Lonesome Lake - We had hoped to go over Texas Pass (the obvious low point on the ridge) but we decided to use the Lizard Head trail instead.
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Upper meadows above Lonesome Lake - Peaks: Pylon and Watch Tower.
enlarge 29.79MB, 1024x682 Download MPEG4 41 2001 wy day2 vid 5 Jackass Pass 3.mp4 VIDEO - Click Photo to View. Heading down from Jackass Pass to Lonesome Lake.
enlarge 324KB, 1024x729 42 2001-367-004 Fred on his way down to Lonesome Lake.
enlarge 343KB, 1024x677 43 2001-367-005 Bill at Jackass Pass.
enlarge 146KB, 1024x768 44 brg032b Close up of Bill
enlarge 328KB, 693x1024 45 2001-367-006 Jason at Jackass Pass.
enlarge 149KB, 1024x769 46 brg034b Close up of Jason.
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Camp near Lonesome Lake.- Most of the guys are still in their bags. Day 2 was a pretty hard day: 7 miles and over 2000 ft climbed. Day 3 would be even harder!
enlarge 163KB, 1024x770 48 brg036j Peter - breaking camp near Lonesome Lake.
enlarge 161KB, 1024x739 49 brg037j Filtered sunlight hits the camp as breakfast is being prepared.
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Day 3: Camp 2 (near Lonesome Lake) to Valentine Lake via the Lizard Head & Bears Ears Trail. (This Map best viewed at "Original" size.)
enlarge 356KB, 1024x750 51 2001-367-007 View of the Cirque of the Towers from our camp near Lonesome Lake.
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View of the Cirque of the Towers from our camp and getting ready to move out.
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Cirque of the Towers down the valley from Lonesome Lake - Pingora Peak dominates the group of peaks.
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The Popo Agie canyon below the C.O.T. is very impressive, almost Yosemite-like.
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Popo Agie Canyon Walls (Dog Tooth Peak) near the junction with the Lizard Head Trail.
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Looking back at the Cirque of the Towers from near the junction of the Lizard Head Trail.
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From the Junction here, the Lizard Head Trail heads into the trees and up the side of the canyon.
enlarge 154KB, 711x1024 58 brg045j Taking a break at the Lizard Head Trail jctn.
enlarge 155KB, 1024x767 59 brg046j Close up of Jason and Shelby
enlarge 133KB, 1024x756 60 brg047j Danny and Austin- lawn chair bliss.
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View of the Cirque of the Towers from the Lizard Head Trail (Near the Bear Lakes)
enlarge 103KB, 1024x769 62 brg049j Fred & Shelby - C.O.T. and Lonesome Lake are way back there now.
enlarge 313KB, 679x1024 63 2001-367-013 View of the Cirque of the Towers and Lonesome Lake.
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Taking a break above the magnificent Popo Agie Valley as we climb the steep Lizard Head trail.
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Lizard Head Peak and the Bear Lakes from the Lizard Head Trail.
enlarge 100KB, 1024x711 66 brg053j Jason - the Bear Lakes form the backdrop.
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Unnamed lakes above the Bear Lakes. Glaciers are on the back side of Lizard Head.
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Fred makes his way across the barren landscape near the highest point of the Lizard Head Trail.
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Roger and the rugged country along the summit of the Lizard Head Trail.
enlarge 127KB, 1024x766 70 brg057j Close up of Roger (World's Greatest Dad!)
enlarge 87KB, 1024x756 71 brg058j Lunch Break at the summit (11875') of the Lizard Head Trail.
enlarge 57KB, 1024x732 72 brg059j "Hammerin" Pete with a honey soaked bagel.
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Jason and Brian at summit of 12539' peak near where we took our lunch break. (This set a record for altitude for Troop 24).
enlarge 82KB, 1024x756 74 brg061j Shelby at summit of 12539' peak.
enlarge 84KB, 1024x727 75 brg062j Jason - Lizard Head from 12539' summit.
enlarge 95KB, 1024x770 76 brg063j If you look at this from the side, it looks like Jason is in a very tight spot.
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One of the few glaciers we saw - this was a short way past the high point of the Lizard Head Trail.
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Taking a break near Cathedral Peak in the desolate terrain along the higher elevations of the Lizard Head trail.
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We took a break at a pass near Cathedral Peak and the guys climbed this strange outcrop.
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Austin - taking in the view of the Eastern side of the Wind Rivers. The mountains to the est were not nearly as spectacular or as rugged as those near the Continental Divide.
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The Lizard Head trail ends at the junction with Bears Ears trail in the valley below.
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A few switchbacks had to be negotiated - we can see the Bear's Ear trail crossing the valley floor beyond. Our route follows the Bears Ears trail to the left after the junction at the end of the trail that is visible here.
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Fred - Heading northwest along the Bears Ears trail - its a long way down to timberline and our camp at Valentine Lake. We were getting tired after one of the longest days ever: 11.4 miles and over 3200 ft climbed all above 10000' in elevation.
enlarge 164KB, 1024x757 85 brg071b Close up of Fred.
enlarge 289KB, 1024x721 86 2001-367-019 Valentine Lake - a beautiful but heavilly used area.
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View of Valentine Lake - Boulder hopping across the Little Wind River
enlarge 237KB, 1024x703 88 wyd401a Day 4: Valentine Lake to Grave Lake Camp. (This Map best viewed at "Original" size.)
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Another shot of Valentine Lake with Payson Peak beyond - the fishing was poor.
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After a mile or so from Valentine Lake, the trail enters the beautiful meadows of Ranger Park
enlarge 113KB, 1024x758 91 brg075b Close up of Bill
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A passing hiker volunteered to take this group picture - Roger, Bill, Austin, Fred, Shelby, Jason, Peter, Danny, and Brian.
enlarge 104KB, 1024x769 93 brg077j Close up - Payson Peak in background.
enlarge 106KB, 1024x756 94 brg078j Jason, Brian, Peter, and Danny
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The meadows of Little Wind River (we crossed here) and Payson Peak.
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Another view of Payson Peak as we hiked north down the Little Wind River Valley.
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Taking advantage of the beach near the outlet of Grave Lake. Hiking around the lake on our way to Camp 4.
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Taking a break at the upper end of Grave Lake - Shelby and Austin enjoy this sandy beach
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View up Grave Lake - Musembeah Peak in the far distance is on the continental divide. The trail skirts Pilot Knob - the rounded peak to the left.
enlarge 114KB, 1024x770 100 brg083j Danny takes a swim in Grave Lake. "Our rule on our trip was, if you went in you went und..." View Comments...
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View up Grave Lake - Pilot Knob ahead - The lake does a dog leg to the left of Pilot Knob and extends about as far as we can see here. It is a huge lake..
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Fred follows the trail as it winds around Grave Lake. This is near the junction with the "Onyon Medius" (Onion Meadows) trail.
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Because of a huge talus slope at the base of Pilot Knob, the trail climbs a few hundred feet to give this view. Fred makes his way at the right.
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View back to the end of Grave Lake from the high point below Pilot Knob. You can see that it is really a huge lake.
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The upper end of Grave Lake. Our camp near the sandy peninsula jutting into the lake on the right below.
enlarge 136KB, 1024x762 106 brg089j The water was shallow and warm at our camp on Grave Lake.
enlarge 142KB, 708x1024 107 brg090j Jason at our camp at Grave Lake - Pilot Knob in the background.
enlarge 130KB, 1024x769 108 brg091j Creek flowing into Grave Lake near our camp.
enlarge 182KB, 1024x710 109 brg092j Taking it easy in our camp.
enlarge 140KB, 1024x716 110 brg093j Jason and Peter doing a little reading.
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Afternoon sun on Grave Lake. After the ball buster of a day the previous day, today was fairly moderate with 6 miles and about 1850 ft of climbing.
enlarge 330KB, 757x1024 112 wyd501a Day 5: Grave Lake to Skull Lake vi Hailey Pass. (This Map best viewed at "Original" size.)
enlarge 162KB, 1024x708 113 brg095j Packing up at Grave Lake.
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The sheer face of Hooker Mountain - This was near the crossing of Baptiste Creek.
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enlarge 321KB, 727x1024 117 2001-368-011 Heading up the trail near Baptiste Creek - Danny hangs back.
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enlarge 117KB, 1024x763 119 brg099j Peter & Jason.
enlarge 137KB, 710x1024 120 brg100j Peter & Jason - just below the final ascent up Hailey Pass.
enlarge 111KB, 1024x758 121 brg101j Roger and Austin coming up the trail to Hailey Pass.
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Jason and Shelby - Hailey Pass behind them. The final climb was very steep with a lot of switchbacks.
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enlarge 116.98MB, 1024x682 Download MPEG4 124 2001 wy day5 vid 3 Hailey Pass pt 2.mp4 VIDEO - Click Photo to View. Final climb up to Hailey Pass, which lies on the Continental Divide.
enlarge 145KB, 763x1024 125 brg104j Close up of Shelby.
enlarge 106KB, 1024x765 126 brg105j The crew at the top of Hailey Pass.
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Bill, Fred, Shelby, Danny, Jason, Buckwheat, Peter, Austin, and Roger. At the pass we met a couple of women hikers, who were chemical engineers, who engaged Fred in a lively conversation on the way down.
enlarge 366KB, 695x1024 128 2001-368-012 Looking down at our route from the top of Hailey Pass.
enlarge 102KB, 758x1024 129 brg108j Buckwheat at Hailey Pass.
enlarge 159KB, 1024x765 150 brg125j Danny and Peter crossing Washakie Creek.
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View back towards Washakie Cr meadows- Pyramid peak at the right & Mt. Geikie to the left.
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Bill and Fred near Marm's Lake - We stopped and had our best fishing of the trip.
enlarge 133KB, 1024x767 153 brg127j Peter and Danny - at Mirror Lake.
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Looking over Fish Creek Park from Mirror Lake we could see there was a forest fire ahead (copter is dot above trees)
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As we rounded Mirror Lake, we could see smoke ahead with helicopters ferrying water to a forest fire right where we were headed.
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The fire was on both sides of the trail - Shelby kicking dirt on a hot spot.
enlarge 122KB, 1024x676 157 brg130r Roger and Fred, check out the fire.
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Looking west, to the treeline at the edge of the meadow at the smoke of the fire.
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Copter with bucket heads to fire. We had intended to camp at the little lake (Divide Lake) that the copter was getting water from.
enlarge 249KB, 1024x725 160 2001-368-023 Copter getting water from lake (enlarge to original size).
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Hiking right through the fire doesn't give one confidence - we passed the fire fighter's staging area.
enlarge 186KB, 1024x682 162 2001-368-024 Close up of copter.
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A second copter lands in the meadows just off the trail - the command post for the fire was here.
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Looking back (Mt Geikie is to left of center) - the smoke of the fire can be seen.
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Instead of camping at Divide Lake, we hiked on passing by the cutoff to Vee Lake by Meeks lake that we had taken on our first day and on to our final camp near the Big Sandy River about a half mile from the cars. It was a long 9.3 mile day but not much climb.