Thursday, January 12, 2012
Savage Gulf Natural Area
Savage Day Loop to North Plateau Trail 2.2..Outcast Total Miles: 1285.84
North Plateau to Mountain Oak Trail 1.2
Mountain Oak to North Rim Trail 0.8
North Rim to Hobb's Cabin 3.5
Day One: 7.7 Miles
Connector Trail 6.7
Big Creek Trail 3.1
Day Two: 9.8 Miles
Greeter Falls Trail x 2 2.8
Big Creek Rim Trail 3.2
Big Creek Gulf Trail 0.9
Connector to Saw Mill 3.2
Day Three: 10.1
Stagecoach Road Trail 1.6
South Rim Trail 5.8
Day Loop to End 1.5
Day Four: 9.3
Total Miles: 36.9
This hike was to get everyone in the group to finish hiking all the trails in the Savage Gulf. Didn't work out that way, but here we go...
Troy, Marco, and I headed out after work. We drove to the Savage Gulf ranger station to start our hike. We were going to hike five days around 50 miles. The weather was looking wet!
We had some misting rain up to sprinkles on the way to Hobbs. We passed two groups of two hikers each that had stayed at Hobbs the night before. Both said that there was fire wood at the cabin.
We got to Hobbs cabin around two o'clock. The bunks were calling our name. I took a nap and then Troy joined in. We got up and collected fire wood for the night. After a lot of thought, we decided to go ahead and stay in the cabin tonight. We sat by the fire out front taking cough medicine and telling lies. We made it a challenge to see who would spot Ranger Lightfoot before he got to camp. The ranger never showed so we were a little let down. We did hear an owl talking.
We got up in the morning and headed down the Connector trail. The rocks were wet and slippery. A definate challenge. By the time we got to the swinging bridge, Troy had made up his mind. His knees were hurting and he would call it off. When we got to the Stagecoach Road trail he headed off taking the South Rim trail to the car.
Marco and I headed on. We passed up the trail to Ranger Falls as we had both done that and it was getting late and dark with the heavy fog. It was almost a night hike by the time we got to Alum campsite. The fog was heavy and wet. We set up camp, ate, and called it a night. I got ready to lay down and asked Marco if he was still awake. All I heard was ZZZZZzzzzz.
We got up early after an early night and headed off to Greeter Falls. The falls were wonderful with all the rain. We met an older man and his grandson at the falls. The grandson was in school for photography and was taking pictures.
We hiked back to Alum campsite and then took the Big Creek Rim trail to Stone Door. There were a couple of people there. We took some pictures as the fog was actually gone from the gulf. We went down through the Stone Door down to the Connector trail.
While on the connector trail, we met a ranger that was hiking through. We asked him if he heard anything about Troy and he hadn't. We told him about all the trees down on all of the trails. He said that was what he was doing as well. We asked about Ranger Lightfoot (George) and he said that it was unlike him to not stop by camp. He told us that there were some thunderstorms coming in tonight.
We stopped at the Historic Savage Cabin on the way. Then off to Sawmill campsite. We went the 0.3 miles to the Schwoon Spring to get water. We didn't know at the time that we could collect water while sitting by the fire pit in the morning. This spring is actually uphill in a cave. There is no telling how far down the water falls, but you are very cautious while your hanging from the rocks trying to get your water.
We went back to camp and collected fire wood. We sat by a warm fire eating our meals. After we were enjoying our cough medicine, we heard owls and coyotes talking. Then Marco said he saw a light. He though it was Ranger Lightfoot, but it was coming from the wrong direction. We both stared at the light. It looked to move up and down, but really fast and far when it did. After a while we decided that it had to be a tower off in the distance and the cough medicine wasn't helping us. It actually made my tongue go in wrong directions while talking. Marco ask me if I was buzzing? Yep, Marco I was!
Sometime in the night we woke to lighting and thunder. WOW what a show and what a downpour. In the morning, Marco came over and said this pack was soaked under his hammock. A river was running through the camp. He moved under my tarp and we ate breakfast. Water was running everywhere as we hiked out.
We had decided yesterday to hike out today. We had both done the Collins Gulf. On the Historic Stagecoach trail there were two water falls that I had not seen before. They were beautiful. Of course the trail was a creek too! We climbed up and took the South Rim trail. We stopped at on overlook where Marco turned to leave, hitting me with his backpack shoving me toward the edge. He said he was getting me back for Lora. I have done this a couple of times to her. You forget how far you stick out in the back.
Then Marco tried to take me out again at the campground spring. He had taken a picture and wanted to show me. When he step next to me, he stood on a rock and slipped. He hit the ground on his butt while hanging onto me. We both slid towards the creek. Luckily we stopped before splashdown.
We stopped for lunch when we heard the thunder. Oh no, the race was on. The storm was faster. Lighting hitting all around us, no place to take shelter. It poured and thunder crashed. We hiked on. It slowed by the time we got to Savage Falls. We found a backbone from a deer on the trail. We said that the deer probably got in Troy's way on his way out.
Overall it was a great hike. We even saw a toad, a lizard, and a horse hair worm. That is January hiking! Marco did get all his trails in.