Sidetracked by torrential rain, we headed southwest to Wyoming. We winded our way up to the northwest corner of the state to enjoy Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks. As we approached from the south, timing led us to stop in Sublette County, Wyoming, about an hour before the resorts in Jackson Hole. This county is larger than Delaware, Connecticut, and Rhode Island combined and there is not one traffic light. We stayed in Pinedale which is the county seat and an old western town.
Pinedale has a fascinating history from its founding in 1904. The town was filled with hacks and dudes. The hacks cut trees and shaped railroad ties. The dudes were paid guides who assisted the hacks navigating the Wind River and mountains. The dudes also guided the tourists who came to fish and hunt along the deep glacier lakes.
The town boomed in the 1930s with CCC workers as the roads and railroads were built to improve the country’s infrastructure. Today, a few of the barracks that were used to house these men from around the country have been remodeled into a green hotel. This is where we stayed.We walked around Fremont Lake and a few of the CCC ponds. Although we were told that a family of foxes often played by the pond, we did not see them. We did however see mule deer cross the road in front of us.
Pinedale also boasts a Museum of the Mountain Man. It is a tribute to all the trappers and pioneers who settled the area. The largest exhibit is about Jim Bridger. Myth has it he was part bear!There are amazing bike trails, great hikes, an aquatic center and wonderful water sports here. There are cowboy bars and even a Chinese restaurant in town. We lucked into a lovely, still not too popular town. South of Teton and Yellowstone, Pinedale is a pleasant place.