Wasn't I supposed to be doing Doyle? Oh yes. The best laid plans, you know.
I invited my friend Ingrid (a very strong hiker) to come up to bag Doyle with Jim_H and me. Then she invited her sister-in-law's sister who happened to be visiting Arizona from Jamaica. Meiki really wanted to go camping. The plan sounded good enough. After spending the night in town with Ingrid's college roomate, we were off on the adventure.
We followed Jim up a route up to the Inner Basin when Meiki said that had enough of the uphill. Not so many of those tall mountains in Jamaica, mon. It had taken us quite a while to get to that point, so I opted to not do Doyle on this day, knowing that it would be after dark when we got out, and we wanted to camp - and I don't particularly care for setting up camp after dark. Anyway, I had never intended to be in this area without someone who knew the area well - so I didn't even study a map before taking off on this trip. Ingrid lived in Flagstaff years ago and had bagged Doyle before. And we all know that Jim has credentials.
Jim did want to bag the peak again, and I knew Ingrid could keep up with him, so we ended up going separate ways. Instead of the convoluted way down, Meiki and I were going to take the trail past the Lockett Meadow campground, and then down to the car. The best laid plans...
I really had no idea where the car was from Lockett Meadow was the problem. So I led Meiki on a wild goose chase. At one point, we saw a wolf! And Meiki was thinking, "don't they run in packs?"
I posted quite a few photos for this trip, and it was primarily because I knew that when I uploaded them here, I could retrace my steps to see where I went wrong. It's eerie how close we got to our destination without knowing it. We decided to go down, since we knew it was an uphill to the Inner Basin, although neither of us knew if the meadow was uphill or downhill from the cars. At so many points, I could've turned us around - but that would've entailed more uphill for the Jamaican.
We headed in the general direction of the highway and then ended up going even more downhill from there - to the next neighborhood to the south. I told my new friend, "I'm not above knocking on some random door so we can quit walking," and she was pleased. Actually, she had a smile on her face for most of the trip! We did find a nice couple out weeding their garden, and they offered to drive us back to the car. So all was well that ended well, eh?
I should also mention that Ingrid and Jim did not make it back to the cars before dark. And my half of the group seemed to be a little better equipped than the peak baggers. At least we made it back to the cars before dark and with food and water in our packs. So, given the late hour and the lack of motivation, we didn't end up camping. We did have a fantastic breakfast at Martan's the next morning, though - I highly recommend it. And I'll have to come back and try Doyle another day.