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Snake-RiverOn a gravel bar pocked with elk prints, Joe fired up his tiny camp stove. More days should start this way: pre-dawn wake up, bite of icy water on feet and ankles, first sunbeams felt against one’s face, cradled mug of hot coffee sipped to the lap of river against gravel. These are the sensations of an autumn morning in Wyoming. Read the story here.

Huston-Park-2 The night before, back in Laramie, Laurel had penciled the words “Pink Towers” next to two clumps of concentric rings on the map. This was a little backpacking trip — just one night — into a little wilderness area: the 50-square-mile Huston Park Wilderness in Wyoming’s Sierra Madre. The fabled Pink Towers, which we’d read about online, lured us here. We wanted to take a summer sip of the coveted wilderness experience. Read the story.

Climbing-01The skills kids need to function in the world come from tussling and devising games. It’s better for kids to get a few broken bones on the monkey bars than to take it easy and lose out on real play. Play is something that’s purposeless and done for pleasure. I think play is good for adults, too, and I can think of no activity more purposeless than rock climbing. Read the story.

emilene-jolieI’d set myself a turnaround time of 7 p.m., half way between when I left camp to search for water at 5:30 and when I said I’d be back three hours later. In just a few minutes, I would reach that turnaround time. All the springs marked on the map that I’d walked past had been dry. We needed water.

Read the story.

Utah-spring-break

Just picture Laramie in March and April: Crusts of dirty frozen leftover snow, brown stubs of grass, and that relentless biting ice-cold wind blowing up your sleeves and down your neck.

Now picture the Utah desert in March and April: Blue-skied with the 65 degree sunshine soaking into the rocks, nights so warm you can throw your sleeping bag out on the sandbar, and gentle breezes sweeping the canyons – or if you’re lucky, no wind at all. Read the story here.

RedDesert4

The Red Desert in winter is vast, beautiful and a little terrifying. Depending on how you outline it, we were somewhere near its dead center. There are two reasons to be here in winter: to earn a paycheck in the oil fields, or to seek the feeling of smallness that comes in big, empty country. We’d come for the latter. Read the story here.

A local backcountry skating adventure to celebrate the OlympicsYou don’t have to travel to Sochi to get your thrills on the ice rink. Just pick the nearest lake in your Wyoming atlas. This story is part of a monthly series for WyoFile about finding outdoor adventures close to home in Wyoming. Read the story here.

Cover more ground with a snowbike approach to backcountry skiingIn which my brother, two ski friends, my dog and I embark on a pretty ridiculous backcountry adventure just to see how it will work. Part of a monthly series on doing fun stuff outside in Wyoming for WyoFile. Read the story here.

Campfire sparks over the snow. When the nights are cold and dark, it takes extra effort get outside after work. A few tricks can help make the darkest time of year the most fun. Read the first in a monthly series of outdoor recreation posts at WyoFile.