For some time, I have been planning a loop in the little traveled trails in the Southern Bradshaw's. I'd scoped out a loop I'd like to try, that used:
- Tip Top #234 Trail North to South.
- Short walk on a forest road
- Jim Creek Trail #235 South to North
- Short walk on Forest Road
- Coal Camp Springs #203 South to North to the Horsethief Lookout Tower.
- a side trip to East Fort #31
- Then back to the Lookout Tower and take the Kentuck #217 Trail to the North.
- Complete the loop by walking FR52 back to the car by the Horsethief Basin
It looked like 15 - 17 miles 3000-4000 AEG. I'd found some minimal GPS Tracks for the tracks, pasted them together, and then traced out a route using the wonderful route manager and Google Earth provided on HAZ. I got a little worried last night, remembering the Blood bath Joe and I went through on the Twin Peaks trail not too far away, so took my GPS off my pack and created/downloaded a bailout, in case it was taking longer than normal.
Joe agreed to endure another trip to the area. Close to the TH, I decided to stop and turn on the SPOT and the GPS to acquire satellites. That's when I noticed the empty GPS Holder. I went through all that trouble and left the GPS hooked up to the computer at home.
We headed down the Tip Top trail, with little problem. The trail was pretty easy to follow and there were only a few spots where it closed in on us. We were armed with a TOPO! map with the track on it. To make a long story less long.... after a few hours of searching, we were never able to find the Jim Creek Trail that was to take us back north, so we returned the way we came. I'll be back.