I wanted to sample some apples from Bloomerville this year but fear of the sky falling caused the date to be moved to a day that didn't work for me. I was ready to fly solo but Amy asked me what I had planned and after experiencing the Superstition catclaw in the past, she couldn't resist another go at it.
We left for the trail a bit later (5:30a) and went to a different TH that the posted event so we wouldn't steal Joe's thunder (pun intended). The hiking started about 8:18a and less than a mile up the trail we saw sleepy beauty laying on the path. Not wanting to wake her (I hear she has a bad temper in the am) we skirted the hill and went around.
About a mile in we turned up the Reavis Gap trail and noticed how warm it was already. I unwittingly wore long pants for the raging catclaw that wasn't really there. The hike up the to hill went pretty well and Amy noticed a stone wall across the way. We scrambled over to check it out. Wow, stacked rocks. No... cowboy ruins....totally worth it!
A short time later we were in Bloowerville picking apples from the orchard started by Twain Clemens. The piles of bear scat are large and plenty. Amy thought she heard horses but they turned out to be mostly mules. Three riders came by and asked if we saw their friends on the trail. We told them we came in via the Reavis Gap trail and they rode on looking for the others. I wanted to check out the proposed Reavis Falls route and I thought I had seen a spur trail from Plow saddle in the past so we hiked north a few miles to scout. We past the riders in route and one man said we wore his mule out trying to keep ahead. We stopped below Windy Pass and thought the ridge there looked pretty open but other options may be adventurous.
After talking with the riders some more we hiked back to Bloomerville and grabbed some more apples. The clouds moved in making it nice and then a little rain came. This was the perfect time to sit in camp and eat some lunch. A short time later the light rain stopped and we filtered 2 gallons of water and plodded across the Fireline trail toward Circlestone. Once at Circlestone. Mound Mountain was discussed but with time running out we decided it was time to head back. On the way down from Circlestone 14 riders came up the trail.
We tried to pick up the pace down the Fireline trail and Amy notice a tarantula that I nearly stepped on. A few photos later we were off and the sky was looking dark. The rain was light and brief so more enjoyable than a anything. The Campaign trail (aka Camp-Pain) has less catclaw than 2 years ago but it's still overgrown by other plants and difficult to follow in sections. The trail seems to go on forever if you're trying to get done before dark. Once the headlamps were on it was even harder to stay on trail. We found our way and got back to the TH about 7:10p