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 Mark’s Jeep.
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 (9,606′).
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.”