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Lions Roar : March 2006
Warbonnet Peak, Wyoming. wild strawberries; and used wild geranium for stomach- aches and snowberry tea for healing after childbirth. The Eastern Shoshone Indians arrived in present -day Wyoming by the early 1500's. It is unclear whether they were related to the earlier inhabitants, the Sheep Eaters, but after adopting the horse from the Comanche in the 1700's, they ranged as far north as Alberta and south to Mexico. Closer to home, they lived and hunted near the Green River, the Popo Agie, and the Wind River, traveling east to the Big Horn Mountains, north to the Yellowstone River, west to the Salmon Mountains, and south to the Yampa River and Brown's Hole. As the oil and gas industry forces its way in, air pollution is now a problell1 and glaciers in the Winds have receded drall1atically. The concept of beauty itself, and its necessary place in hUll1an society, is no longer recognized. The neighboring Blackfoot were shocked when they saw the Shoshone atop these powerful four-legged creatures, and called the horses "Big Dog" and "Elk Dog." Before en- countering guns in the hands of their neighbors, what the Shoshone feared most were the dwarf Nunumbi, tiny crea- tures said to live in the unexplored recesses of the Wind River Mountains. For the Shoshone, the Winds marked the beginning and ending of life: the young rose out of their nesting glaciers, the very old flew to the tops of their peaks, and the dead floated away on their rivers. In 1811 members of the American Fur Company, 61 people with 118 horses, were the first white people to make contact with the Shoshone. They camped in the Green River Valley far below Gannett Peak and feasted on the buffalo they hunted there. MOUNTAINS PULL AT US, soul, psyche, and body. They are a vertical resting place for our eyes. The view from a west -slope meadow is into the interior of the mountain range. Behind a handful of bracketed peaks are more peaks: broken turrets, shadowed side-canyons, polished square-top domes, and serrated granite blocks. From Prong- horn Peak above Middle Lake, there's a view past Gannett Peak of the Tetons. To the south there's a defile of rugged mountains, including Rampart Peak, Desolation Peak, and Mt. Solitude. Dome Peak rides Gannett Peak's shadow; the Cirque Towers make a bump in the Conti- nental Divide, ballooning it out to hold a circle of peaks including Bollinger, Wolf's Head, Overhanging Tower, Shark's Nose, Block Tower, Pylon Peak, and Warbonnet, with Pingora Peak pushed out from the circle to stand sentinel by Lonesome Lake. At dawn Mt. Bonneville and Fremont peaks are orange walls, what the soldier and ex- plorer John Fremont called "the red comb of the mountains." The peak named for him is a p::: ::r: u ÇQ Q @ o E--< o ::r: p., 38 SHAMBHALA SUN MARCH 2006