Andrew Slaton Photography

Did you see our new website photo’s? Gorgeous huh?

GOTCO is super lucky to have a posse full of amazing drivers, with an array of talents. We have drivers that volunteer for Search and Rescue, ex-fishing and raft guides, ex-business owners, an author, an ex-postmaster, ex-military, an ex-mayor the list could and should go on. One constant is the same, people-persons that love the outdoors here. Surely, you saw all the “ex’s” above, and that’s because we love “mature” drivers!

Two of our youngest driver’s Andrew and Ellen Slaton, return summer after summer, from touring the “Country” in their camper, hiking all the National Parks, exploring new places, and living the nomadic lifestyle, recording their journey via photography and blog, and teaching landscape photography and the “art of seeing”. “Namaste”

GOTCO is De-lighted to feature Andrew’s work in the Gallery “Alpen, Awesome…” and the header photo, and other promotional materials. If you love his work as much as I do, head on over to their website and check out some more. Even better, if you want to be a better landscape photographer, check out his classes!






What is a recreational shuttle?

I’m writing about a topic that is near and dear today…


A shuttle is very simple concept, that can be extremely confusing! Oh the logistics! Recreational shuttles are easily understood by the river community. River’s only flow in one direction, so after exiting it is necessary to get a ride back to your vehicle at the start, or deliver your vehicle to the exit. Shuttles are less necessary for other activities, because you can always backtrack or do a loop and end up at the same location. However, shuttles are convenient, allow you to see more, and go longer distances!

On the other hand there are scores of people that have never heard of a shuttle. You mean an airport shuttle? Yes I have heard of that. Uhhh No! Let’s drop some knowledge bombs and get YOU in the KNOW!

Outdoor Enthusiasts need shuttles for a couple key reasons:

  1. Travel in one direction without back tracking; floating, hiking, biking
  2. Travel in one direction for long distances, like hundreds of miles
  3. Save time! Including hours to days placing vehicles at exit points
  4. Traveling with only one vehicle, you need 2 for a shuttle
  5. Traveling without a vehicle
  6. Traveling to isolated areas, where it is hard to hitchhike or call out

Bing defines a shuttle as “a form of transportation that travels regularly between two places” this is commonly understood by the non-recreational lay person as an airport shuttle between the Hilton Garden Inn and Salt Lake City International Airport, or the 5am commuter shuttle from Alpine to Jackson Hole.

I would suggest this definition  “a recreational shuttle is a people or vehicle transfer between Point A and Point B or a pick-up at Point B returning to Point A, typically between boat ramps, trailheads, or other recreational locations”.


In my mind there are 4 types of recreational shuttles which I will layout here:


Customer parks at Point A and Hikes to Point B. GOTCO picks-up the customer vehicle and drives it to Point B. This method requires, what I like to refer to as the chase vehicle or pace car in NASCAR terms. The chase car meets the customer vehicle with 2 drivers, 1 to drive the chase car, the 2nd to drive the customer vehicle. After parking the customer vehicle, the chase car returns both drivers to the base of operations. This is the most magical shuttle, because “VIOLA” your vehicle magically appears at the exit trailhead waiting for you!

Pro’s = You get on the trail right-away, you save time, and your vehicle is waiting

Con’s = Car may not be there if you have to turn back, someone else is driving your car

vehicle shuttle


Customer drives vehicle to Point B and parks, GOTCO picks-up the customer, and drives to Point A, customer hikes back to vehicle at Point B.

Pro’s = Your vehicle is waiting for you, no one else is driving your car

Con’s = Time lost driving back to Point A, takes time at the start of the trip

pre shuttle


Customer parks at Point A and Hikes to Point B. GOTCO picks-up the customers and shuttles them back to Point A.

Pro’s = You get on the trail right-away, no one else is driving your car

Con’s = Time lost driving back to Point A, may have difficulty contacting outside world if you are not on time

post shuttle



The Customer flies into a regional airport. GOTCO picks-up the customer and shuttles them to Pinedale, then to Point A. Customer hikes to Point B. GOTCO picks-up the customer and shuttles them to the Airport.

Pro’s = You don’t have worry about driving, directions, or parking!

Con’s = You have to be on time to the exit and exit at the planned location.If not, you may have difficulty contacting outside world if you are late or early, or came out at a different location.

point-point shuttle (1)



Fontanelle – Seedskadee Shuttles

The Seedskadee – Fontanelle area is the Green River below Fontanelle Reservoir. It is located in the high desert about 25 miles from Labarge and about 25 miles from Kemmerer, Wyoming. It flows out of the dam, and has the feel of an oasis, as it is surrounded by sagebrush steppe for miles around. The area has 2 BLM campgrounds, Weeping Rock and Slate Creek. Seedskadee National Wildlife refuge is home to many bird species, desert elk, moose, and wild horses.

River Shuttles are available! You can drop your boat at the put-in, drive to the takeout, Dennis will pick you up and drive you back to the put-in.

Dennis is based out of Labarge,  you can contact him to set-up a date, time, boatramp for pick-up. He does not text.


Below Fontanelle Dam

Dam to Slate Creek                      $40

Weeping Rock to Slate Creek    $40

Weeping Rock/Slate/Dam to Dodge Bottom $50

Dodge Bottom to Hay Bottom    $55

Hay Bottom to Highway 28        $65

Highway 28 to Six Mile               $70

Add $10 for each additional rider after 1

For example 3 people want a ride from Slate to Dam $40 for 1 rider, $50 for 2 riders, $60 for 3 riders. ($60/3 people = $20/each for the shuttle)

Here’s an interactive GOTCO map of boat ramps etc. to help you out!

Above Fontanelle Reservoir

Labarge to Name’s Hill    $20

Fear #2 to Name’s Hill     $35

Fear #2 to Labarge           $25

Fear #1 to Fear #2            $35




Biking Pinedale

Pinedale looks like a great place for biking, what’s available?

GO SPOKES! Bike Share Program
Pinedale recently rolled out the first paid bike share program in Wyoming last June 2017, and maybe one of the first rural bike share programs from what we can tell. It consists of 13 bikes spread between 5 stations located at the Hampton Inn, Wind River Brewing Company, Sublette County Visitor’s Center, Pinedale Aquatic Center and Lakeside Lodge. You do have to download an app called MOVATIC in order to rent a bike, as rental kiosks are not available. Bikes rent for 10 cents a minute ($6/hour) and can be rented or returned to any location. They are one size fits all comfort bikes, with bells! Bikes are available from about May to October. Rental proceeds benefit Main Street Pinedale, the local non-profit charged with improving downtown. These are awesome for a hour long activity, running errands, riding Pinedale’s many bike paths spidering out from downtown, or riding up to Fremont Lake skinny dipping, and having a beer on the deck at Lakeside Lodge. For more info visit here.BikeProof1

Mountain Biking

Although Pinedale looks like an awesome place for mountain biking, it really hasn’t taken off like other places. Maybe because almost all of Pinedale’s existing trails head straight into designated Wilderness where they are not allowed. Quite awhile ago, I attempted to start a mountain bike club to see who wanted to ride and share trail info. We met weekly as the Pinedale Bike Riders (PBR haha) and would go ride what we could find, there was a varying group of about 5 people. The club kind of petered out, then was taken over by an ambitious individual that did some trail maintenance, and some holdovers from the previous year changed the name to the Sublette County Freeride Coalition and produced a trail map which is available locally at the Great Outdoor Shop and Sublette County Visitor’s center. Please note most of these trails have no markings, and probably no maintenance as the ambitious individual moved away. The 3 best trails in my opinion are Elkchase (Elkhart Park), Tyler Draw (Mesa), and West Fremont Lake (start at dam). Go to for the most complete listing.

Click this SC_Mtn_Bike_Guide link for the trail map.


Tyler Draw

Great Divide Mountain Biking Route 

Pinedale is almost in the middle of the Great Divide Mountain Biking Route which spans from Banff, Canada to Antelope Wells, New Mexico and follows the Continental Divide. It is about 2,700 miles and is adventure cycle’s greatest route. The route crosses Union Pass from Dubois between the Gros Ventre and Wind River Mountain ranges to Pinedale which passes through the Green River Lakes area. There is an annual mountain bike race called the Tour Divide  and is the subject of the award winning documentary Ride the Divide which is an enlightening look at the ride and challenges and triumphs of the journey, and definitely worth a watch!


Green River Lakes Road 

Road Biking

Pinedale is seeing more and more road bikers around especially from Pinedale to Cora to the Upper Green area. This is a beautiful ride and doesn’t see the major truck traffic like other routes. Road biking is also slow to catch on, which I mostly suspect is because natural gas boom created a TON of truck traffic, which made for seriously  sketchy riding on the roadways. Pinedale is on a couple major tour routes such as the Tour De Wyoming and Cycle Greater Yellowstone.



Fishing Fleet Replaced

GOTCO International announced today via the Sagebrush wireless live from their headquarters based behind Jensen Feed, that the fishing fleet would be retired and replaced by “newer” vehicles. CEO Kate Dahl made the announcement amidst shareholder concern and threats of strike from top level drivers.  Dahl stated ” The vehicles simply could no longer compete in the global market place and it was necessary to bring on a new fleet.” Dahl shared “Rez Runner” and the “old White Subaru” hold a special  place in my heart and bring back the nostalgia of my high schools days growing up in a mountain town”.

Pinedale had been experiencing unseasonably warm weather, when long time driver Tina told Dahl get some “damn air conditioning”. Tina had recently purchased cooling snap towels off Amazon to ease her work day shuttling. The towels were only marginally effective in the hot weather.  Rez Runner went into early retirement last season after tagging an antelope on the way to Eastfork boat ramp. Although the hood was straightened, and radiator replaced, driver perception persisted that Rez could no longer do the job. Rez still had his tally sheet in the visor 1 antelope, 395 chizlers, 21 rabbits, 1 owl, 11 magpies, 1 badger, 4 unknown subjects it is unclear how long it took to acquire these stats, they were written in pencil.

Dahl recently took the Old White Subaru to have part of the muffler reattached and was told by the mechanic it would die any day. Dahl ignored the mechanics advise and shuttle crews hit the blacktop. Approximately 1 week later Old White died unexpectedly at the Town put-in. Old white’s condition is unknown at this point, but the vehicle does have a “DNR” order on file at GOTCO. Dahl said she would give it a week, if Old White was unable to be revived, it would be sold for parts or donated to the High School Homecoming car bash. Both vehicles would receive a boisterous retirement party from the Drivers who planned to drink a beer and celebrate their good fortune. CEO Dahl closed with the following remarks ” Both Subaru’s served GOTCO for many, many years and were a model of the shuttling industries seasonal nature, and frugality. These were strictly fishing shuttle vehicles and simply not appropriate to haul our hiking clientele around in. I would like to say they will be missed, but that’s probably not true.”

Res Runner and the Old White Subaru will be replaced by the New White Subaru and the Black Subaru which was recently acquired on a whirlwind trip to Salt Lake after Old White bit the dust. Both newer Subaru’s will split their time between fishing and hiking shuttles.

It is expected the two 1990’s mini vans affectionately known as the “dust buckets” are next on the chopping block.


Custom Mountain Hats

And yet more rad Wind River Mountain memento’s are available! Myriah Nystrom of MTN ATTIRE airbrushes some beautiful trucker hats with Wind River Peaks, trout patterns, and eclipse scenes for sale for $48/each. You can even custom order! Customs are $60/each. She is at the Pinedale High Altitude Farmer’s Market every Thursday from 4-7pm at Legion Park, or check them out on INSTAGRAM.

pink hat


191 Road Closure: Alternate Routes

There is currently a wildfire near Bondurant and Highway 191 to Jackson is closed indefinitely.

For more fire information visit:

Here are 2 backroads routes between Pinedale and Jackson that take 3-4 hours as opposed to 6-7 hours following the highways via Dubois-Lander-Pinedale or Alpine-Afton-Kemmerer-Labarge-Pinedale.

McDougal Pass Road:

From Jackson take Highway 89 south to Alpine, turn left onto Greys River Road/Forest Service Road 138 follow approximately 30 miles on good dirt road paralleling the river. You will pass the BOX Y ranch, continue several miles, turn left onto McDougal Gap road (sign says “Sheep CR”) heading east, road narrows, gets rough, and goes uphill. This road will take you over a mountain pass and down. Continue about 11 miles, you will reach the forest boundary and the road will turn into County Road 23-129. Go about 8 miles to the intersection turn left onto County Road 23-116 continue 1 mile turn right onto County Road 23-117 go 11 miles to Highway 189. Turn left to head to Daniel Junction.  Road is pretty good and passable by passenger car, and vehicles with trailers.

Union Pass Road:

From Jackson take Highway 26/89 to Dubois. 8 miles before Dubois turn right onto Union Pass Road #240 it will turn into #263. It will climb a steep mountain with switchbacks, in about 11 miles you will reach Lake of the Woods. This area of the road is slow going and bumpy. The road will be flat and start to descend into the Upper Green River Valley, continue about 22 miles to the intersection of the Green River Lakes Road, turn right going south, continue 3 miles to the forest boundary. The road will turn into pavement Highway 352 follow for about 20 miles to the intersection of Highway 191, turn left to proceed to Pinedale 6 more miles. This route is the rougher of the 2, heavy trailers, and low clearance passenger cars are not recommended. This area also contains grizzly and black bears, so be aware!

Neither route has much in the way of services, be sure to gas up, have food and water, and have a spare tire, jack, and wrench. There is little to no cell phone coverage in these areas.