Dorinna and I have taken two backpacking trips in the last two weeks.
Last weekend we took a pretty casual trip to Young’s Gulch. We left the house at 5:00 p.m. on Saturday, and were on the trail at 5:30 p.m. Young’s Gulch had a lot of water in it, which made the going slow. Eventually we tired of trying to jump from rock to rock, switched to sandals, and just waded across. We probably hiked in no more than two miles before we set up a nice little camp on a hilltop overlooking the valley. The next morning we slept in, then lazed around camp until late morning. Finally moving after 11, we day hiked to the end of the trail for a view of Stove Prairie road, before retracing our steps to the car. We counted 44 stream crossings each way- for a total of 88. I didn’t bother switching to sandals on the way out- just waded across the knee-deep water in my hiking boots.
This weekend we left the house at the “early” hour of 11:00 a.m. and drove up to the Roaring Creek trailhead near Rustic. This felt more like a mountain hike. It started with a very steep mile-long climb up a flower-studded hillside before reaching the trail’s namesake. That’s when we dropped the packs and set up camp. When looking for a tent-site I heard an enormous crashing sound in the woods. It was either a family of grizzly bears, Sasquatch, or a moose. The tracks in the mud near camp and the plentiful piles of… “sign” pointed towards the latter. After setting up camp, we hiked to the end of this trail. It ended 5 miles from Cameron Pass at a small jeep trail. Very varied terrain- aspen stands, sub-alpine meadows, rocky crags- this trail seemed to have it all. We thought we were almost to the end when we found we had to cross Roaring Creek itself. It was too big to jump across, and too deep to keep our boots dry. “Wade or go home,” were our choices. Needless to say, we continued… and found the end of the trail about 100 yards farther along…
Some pictures below: