Big Horn, Big Sky, Big Dirt - Dual Sporting in Wyoming's Big Horn Mountains  

  It had been four years since our last dirt trip to Wyoming and we felt it time.  In our first and only trip there in 2004 we stayed on the west side of the state with base camps in Pinedale and Rock Springs, having left the Big Horns for another time; and that time was 2008.  In our first trip there our routes were mostly derived from reading Dan Lewis' book "8,000 Miles of Dirt" exclusively focusing on Wyoming.  Dan did a nice job of describing the routes and providing a rudimentary mapping but we felt he fell a little short for us with his focus on big gravel roads that were capable of being traversed by, in most cases, a 2WD vehicle with only slightly better than average ground clearance.  We ended up using his book to get us in the general area and then we branched out from there.  Back in '04 we didn't have the ability to employ Google Earth nor did we have GPS units.  A lot changed in four years.  We scoured Google Earth looking for good trails and routed ourselves each day using this method.  We supplemented with Lewis' book, but we mostly used GE.  We had previously made three major dual-sport trips in two different areas and never ran into trouble relative to private land, therefore we felt if the trail could be seen on GE and it would route you on it we would be good to go.  This would prove to be a fairly significant miscalculation.  When I was planning the routes I was careful not to pick any road that didn't seem navigateable.  In almost every case I chose roads that were named.  Our second day in showed us how big a miscalculation this would be.  In the end we changed our approach on the fly, but a couple of days were less than optimum.