Another great trip for ABC. Six fun backpackers, great weather, tough trails, and the tiniest little bit of fall color in the canyons. Roads were actually pretty good. I saw a couple of passenger cars that made it to the Deer Creek TH.
We started the trip with a car camp near Deer Creek TH on Friday night. We weren't able to camp right at the TH since the hunters had taken over, but we found a nice site and settled in for the night. We were "gently" woken by the annoying whine of ATV's on Sat. morning and got on the trail by around 8:30. Right away, the East Divide trail was a stunner. There had been rain a couple of days prior, and the vegetation seemed pretty happy about it. The tree-filled canyon may be quite an uphill haul, but it is so beautiful and there were faint touches of fall color to be seen as we made our way to the saddle. The trail was nice and easy to follow. There was also lots of bear sign on the trail, but there were no Ursa encounters. After breaking at the saddle, a few of us headed up to Kennedy Peak and then joined the rest of the group to start the steep drop into Corral Canyon. We passed Corral Spring, but could find no evidence of water. There were a couple of small pools of water along the way down. The trail conditions through Corral Canyon were less ideal than the earlier sections, but we eventually found ourselves at Rattlesnake Creek. Here, we met one of the kids with the crew staying at Powers Garden and doing trail work. They are going to be there until just before Thanksgiving for a grand total of 6 weeks. After a quick break, we made our way to Powers Spring, where we took a look at a couple of campsites. We could hear the spring flowing but we didn't go down to check it out. After some recon, we decided to join the kids at Powers Garden. This provided an added bonus because there is now water piped up to the cabin from a spring. The kids told us it is potable. They had been drinking it untreated for a week, so we figured it must be ok.
We checked out the cabin and the giant food stash for the crew, and then set up camp near the creek bed where there were plenty of flat spots and some nice trees for hanging. We had planned to cook dinner and then join the party by the cabin, but the night got so cold that we ended up sticking close to our campfire and enjoying our own conversation. Also, the crew wasn't allowed to have any adult beverages, so we didn't think it would be fair to flaunt ours
Saturday night it got down below freezing. There was frost glistening on the meadow grasses in the morning. I was dealing with a lot of condensation under my tarp. We got a late start, heading out on the Tortilla Trail at around 10:30. This trail was nice and easy to follow, especially with drewboy's posted gps route to guide us. We plugged away at the immediate uphill climb and just kept going since we were running later than expected. The day turned sunny and warm, but there was an occasional breeze to cool us down. We stopped several times to refuel and enjoy the fantastic landscape. Once we got past the final uphill climb, we cruised right down to Deer Creek Cabin and then headed back to the TH and the waiting vehicles.
It was a fantastic first trip in to Powers Garden for me. I realized last night that I left my hammock tree huggers at the campsite. Guess I need to head back in and clean up after myself
Oh darn! Can't wait to check out more of the Galiuros.