8/23/19 – We woke at 6 am and had a quick breakfast while we packed
up our gear. Bruce said his knee was feeling a lot better, but we decided
it would be best to implement the driving plan rather than risk further pain
and possibly worsening the injury if it was something more serious than an IT
Band issue. So we headed out and found the parking area as we expected.
Lo and behold, there was a well-stocked Tiki Bar at that location and
Bruce would have to stay there for several hours all by himself (just kidding
about the Tiki Bar). There was no cell phone service at the parking area,
so we were counting on being able to find our way back there after we retrieved
The rest of us set out to make the
last 10 miles of the hike. We came across a mountain biker who was also
south-bound. He asked if we’d been caught in the storm the previous
night. Apparently, he was passing through the same area that we had hiked
earlier in the afternoon and was caught in a hail and rain storm. He got
soaked pretty good! It sounded like this occurred about the time we were
setting up camp a few miles away in light rain.
As we made our way along the trail,
we found several patches of wild raspberries and stopped numerous times to eat
a few berries that the Bears had left for us! There were 3 pretty steep
climbs along the way and the last 4 miles descended over 1,400′ to highway 114
Wild Raspberries – YUM!!
After getting to the Jeep, we were
able to find our way back to Bruce on the forest service roads. We saw
some very interesting rock formations and some camping areas that we wouldn’t
have otherwise known about. Once we reached Bruce, Mark surprised us with
some cold beverages he’d packed in a cooler 5 days earlier. Thanks Mark!!
We then headed to Saguache (30 miles east) for a late lunch at the 4th
Street Diner. Those sandwiches and burgers really hit the spot!!
Mark then drove us to our car at the
beginning of the route and we all headed for home. What a great adventure
once again! We’re looking forward to one
more outing in September, if the weather holds.
“You’re off to great places, today
is your day. Your mountain is waiting, so get on your way.”