|Can you see the trail here?|
So I looked at the map and thought, Hey! I can make this a big loop if I drop down Saddle Gulch (losing 3000 feet in elevation), hike along Horse Creek until I find a good campsite, and then climb back up Monument Ridge!
What I didn't know was that campsites along Horse Creek are a scarce commodity. The river canyon narrows to a steep gorge; elsewhere the creek has changed course, chewing away at the banks until the trail is in fact the river. On I plodded. I had two mini tantrums, but without anyone to witness them, tantrums just seem silly. I stumbled into an okay but dark camp at 8 pm.
What else? I sat in sap. I got my feet wet because I gave up on taking on and off the sandals. I got a blister. No bears showed up. The moon was bright. The next day I climbed painfully out of the canyon and back on the ridge.
|Luckily there were big cairns on top of the ridge, because the trail disappeared.|
I thought I was home free up there as I headed to a road labeled 4WD. Mistake! It was completely logged in. I crashed around in the woods for awhile before admitting defeat and heading back down the ridge to a connector trail. This added four miles to my “easy” second day.
Okay. About the pack. It’s an Osprey Aura 65 women’s. Read about it at Rei.com. Unfortunately it does not work for me. In making the pack light, the manufacturers have taken away the cushy hip and shoulder padding. I am giving this pack away to someone who can use it, not hang it on a wall. It’s been used four times. There’s a mysterious stain (coleman fuel?) on one pocket. The pack retails for $239. If you want it, post a comment. In the comment say how you found this blog and what you like reading about. I’ll use a random number generator to pick the winner. If you win it and it doesn’t work for you, all I ask is that you give it away to someone who will use it, not sell it. Pass on the trail gear! If nobody wants it, I will donate it to a kids’ backpacking program here.
Hike on, friends.
|Look at Osprey, sitting there all pretty and innocent.|