|View from top of Mt Zirkel - still lots of snow at 12,000ft|
An alarm at 5.30am saw us climb Mt Zirkel (12,182ft/3713m) on another perfect morning with views into the utterly empty wilderness beyond. On our return we heard howling and barking across the valley - a hiker later told us a pack of coyotes had brought down one of the young elk we'd seen at sunrise.
|Miner's Inn Delight's very own bluebird...|
Our town of Atlantic City was still lived in by 'real' people: its original mercantile was still operating in all its 19th century wooden-panelling-and-stuffed-animal glory; it had Wyoming's most essential small town retail outlet, the gun store, run by one 'Wild Bill'; and our B&B, the original 19th century saloon. The final town, Miner's Delight, has been left to gently disappear into the sage brush; dilapidated wooden cabins with roof slats slapping in the wind and brush growing over the cemetery.
|and it's very own whiskey selection...|
It didn't take us long to consider our options: the only nearby deserted house had two barking guard dogs on duty and we had zero mobile phone reception, so I hitched a ride back to our B&B so we could call the AAA. As the operator couldn't understand where we were (they only seem to know the highways) and we were 30 miles away from the nearest small town, I was sceptical when she said a mechanic would be with us in 15 minutes.
|and our very own miner's cabin|
Next stop: Grand Teton.
|The sagebrush desert reclaims one of the miner's cabins|