After being cooped up in the truck for some time at this point, we figured that a break in the schedule was needed. We had planned on today being a hiking day with covering a bit of the Blue Lakes Trail, and the McCullough Gulch trail:
After seeing another beautiful sunrise, we set our sets on the Blue Lakes Trail hike, but I’m not entirely sure we actually hiked any of the trail. We were in the right area, but I think we just wound up wandering a FS road. Which worked out as there was a pretty waterfall at the end. Wandering up the grade:
With our bellies filled after lunch, we decided to head back up the hill to hike McCullough Gulch. This is where our hiking adventure turned a bit sour, but at least it happened at the end of the trail. This trail starts out at 11k feet, and climbs up to 12k feet. It is supposed to be about a 1.5 mile trail total. Well… not quite. Turns out it is closer to a 2.5 mile trail one way plus another quarter mile at least from the parking area to the trailhead. And way more rugged than either one of us expected. Rugged enough that we each fell twice, which is something neither of us have done (even with kids on our backs).
There was a ton of people in the parking area. Enough that we figured the trail would be packed, but it turned out that we saw very few hikers the whole time we were on the move. Which suited us fine:
We let the kids run around for a while as we caught our breath for a minute. Eventually we headed back down the mountain at a quicker rate than we ascended. About ¾ of a mile from the truck, the wife started feeling ill, which meant I got to carry both kids the rest of the way to the truck. Needless to say, I was pretty well done by the time we got everyone loaded up.
I should mention that this area (and the areas we’ve been exploring) are extremely dry right now. In the end, this little forest fire was controlled pretty quickly, and only consumed about 21 acres. It was interesting to watch the helicopters and other equipment fighting the fire from our hotel window.
That wraps up today fun, tomorrow we’re back in the truck for more exploring.
Link to slide show (Click Me!)