The second try met with success and I'm kind of glad the first try (called because of lightning and rain) didn't quite come to fruition only because hiking back the 5 miles would have certainly been a bit challenging elevation-wise.
Cindy and I wanted to formulate a plan to join the Photo Workshop and get in a high-country hike so this fit our plan perfectly. I decided to PM Jody to see if she would join us and silently hoped she might want to help set a shuttle. The plan came together and we met up with her and the other half (who so kindly helped set the shuttle using their vehicles before we arrived
) at the Lift Motel and headed up to the Humphreys/Kachina TH.
It was going to be a beautiful day made even more spectacular by the recent snow on Humphreys, the Peak Cindy and I had tackled just two weeks prior. The wonderful and my most favorite thing about this trail is that it constantly comes in and out of forests of aspens and firs and pines into meadows and back. I also like the sections that had some rock formations you could crawl around. In fact, one section, where we kind of lost the trail
, provided just that opportunity plus a photo op.
The stands of aspen from time to time were very impressive. I couldn't get over the size of some of the trunks of these lovely tall, tall graceful trees. There was some recent dead fall on the trail that was easily passable. I was hoping to try the new technique Wendy showed me for getting over these trees but no such tree provided that opportunity. The trail is somewhat narrow in parts with a slightly deep rut so if you don't pay attention, you can stumble. Jody and I did our fair share of stumbling but I lost control and went knees first on to the side of the trail. I recovered quickly though
and actually thot the meadow turf was quite soft.
It was nice to look back toward the peaks with their light dusting of snow from this eastern side. I like the golden to green grass that occupied most of the meadows along with the Fall colors of the ferns interspersed. There was also an occasional wildflower and wildlife along the way.
Don't let the slight elevation loss fool you either as you do climb up and down about 1/2 dozen times but this is not a bad thing if you're only going one way. If you were coming back, it might get a bit annoying. It is a fun-filled 6 miles from the Kachina TH to the Weatherford's eastern TH. I hope I get a chance to do this in the summer. The only disappointing thing about this hike was NO fall color. And it looks like Fall will have a hard time developing in the aspen as some of the leaves looked a bit crispy. Depending on weather, it could be a late Fall on the Kachina.
It was great to hike with a local, fotogirl53, as she could provide insight to the trail and the area and the bonus is, she likes to observe/identify the flora and fauna. We found out that we were all from the northwest with Cindy from WA, Jody from ID and me from MT. We hiked without a break so that we could be sure to meet up with the Photo Workshop group. Fun times in the wilderness for all of us this weekend