Day 4, Wednesday 5/21
Woke up to the sound of snow falling on the tent. We listen to the weather report and hear that 4 inches of snow is on it's way this afternoon, and that more is on it's way tomorrow. We decide to leave before that happens! We eat some trail mix for breakfast and put on all of our waterproof clothing. We stuff the wet and muddy tent into a waterproof bag and off we go, back in the direction of the car. Storm clouds completely hide the mountains. Leigh lake has a fine layer of ice covering it. Big fat drips fall out of the trees from the melting snow. We have an occasional burst of snowfall. Our snowshoe tracks we left the night before are covered, so we just follow the moose tracks (they are so deep that it would take ten inches of snow to cover them up!) We find a way to bypass the ridge (because it's actually daytime and we can see). Take a break on the lake shore and eat some more trail mix and fresh snow. We pass back over the slushy river with some effort. Shaun tripped and his entire arm went through the surface ice (good thing he wasn't holding his camera!). We eventually cross the rest of the stream and after another twenty minutes of hiking we make it back to the car. Everything is soaking wet and cold, including us. It starts sleeting on us as we finish stuffing everything into the car. We sit in the car for a minute and come to the decision that we need to find a hotel. Chris calls around as we drive into town and we find an affordable room at the Super 8. The guy at the front desk even gave us the poor college-student discount. It felt so good to take a shower! We spread our gear all over the room, hang the tent in the shower, and left the heater on while we went out for a beer. We shared a pitcher of Newcastle and watched the Spurs loose to the Lakers while the storm blew into town. Back at the hotel we watch the weather, and see a developing storm system arching from Cheyenne to Jackson Hole. With the forecast looking very cold and wet we contemplate leaving in the morning. Warm, dry, sleep never felt so good.