Day Four – Union Pass

The night before as we were walking around Steve noticed some other bikes in our Motel parking lot that looked very familiar to him.  After some consideration he realized that these bikes belonged to some guys he had met trail riding in Indiana near home.  It wasn't that difficult to realize who belonged to the bikes, one was a BMW Dakar and the other a Suzuki V-Strom, both with full knobbies (not many V-Stroms with full knobbies).  It was Ray and Paul who were taking a three week ride down the
Continental Divide Road.  He placed a note on their bikes and stopped by their room as we were all leaving.  They joined us for breakfast, and we traded stories about our trip thus far.  They asked us to ride with them for a while but we explained Union Pass was waiting for us.  We parted company, bundled up, and headed up W352 towards Cora.  We could see the Wyoming Range to the West, The Gros Ventre Mountains to the North, and the Wind River Range to the east.  Cora is only 4 miles above US191 and after another 10 miles we turned east on Moose Gypsum Rd (KMZ) toward Big Bend Lookout and Little Sheep Mountain.  This road was more trail than than the other more gravel types roads we had been on.  The road was deeply rutted and a little difficult to navigate.  The scenery was worth the trip.  We stopped along the trail for some pictures (KMZ).  The road brought us down onto the Green River Lakes Rd that winds along the Green River and dead-ends into the campground at Green River Lakes (KMZ). Along the road towards the lake, Square Top Mountain comes into view.  We stopped at the lake to look around.  The lake looked crystal clear but was smaller than what we had imagined.  We turned around and headed back the way we came traveling west along the Green River.  We turned north onto Union Pass Rd. and across the river.  Now the river was on our right, we crossed over Tosi Creek and Klondike Hill came into view to the North.  The road here was a washboard where my little windshield shook loose from my fairing.  With it removed we continued northward toward Triangle Peak and began climbing up Bacon Ridge above Tepee Creek to a junction at Kinky Creek Rd.  We considered taking this road but it looked like rain to the west so we decided to stay on course and on Union Pass Rd.  After about four miles we passed by Mosquito Lake (KMZ) which happens to aptly named.  The Wind River Mountain Range was now in good view as were at the top of a plateau.  We stayed to the east and crossed Raspberry Creek, then Strawberry Creek and finally South Fish Creek.  The terrain changed from open range at the top to white pine as we continued.  We continued down the backside of the pass toward US26/US287.  Once on the road we stopped for Gas at DuNoir but the place was closed on Sunday.  We decided to do the Brooks Lake loop (KMZ) and take a chance on running out of gas.  The loop around Brooks Lake is only ten miles.  Our plan was to ride that and find a back way to Kinky Creek Rd and go back the same way after that.  The road around the lake was nice and well maintained to the lake.  Once there we found a 4WD road that completed the loop.  We were back on US287.  We continued west looking for the road but quickly realized we needed to head back east and look for FR357.  We found this road but it was closed off.  Now we were in a dilemma we had to go back exactly the way we came so we stopped one last time to contemplate the gas situation.  DuBois was about 15 miles further east with a certain thunderstorm waiting for us.  We did some quick calculations and decided we could make it on the gas we had.  So we went back the exact same way we had come.  The nice thing about traveling the same routes out here was it looked entirely different going the other way.  We got back before sundown.