On a lazy day off I felt the need to visit my favorite country, so I set off for Payson in the early afternoon, with no particular destination in mind. I stopped in Payson to visit friends, picked up a small limber pine tree at a nursery in Star Valley, then weighed my hike options, given the late hour. Babe Haught it would be.
I started up the trail at 4:15 pm, hoping to at least make the top of the Rim and return before dark. A few sprinkles of rain and ragged clouds floated past, and I had the trail to myself. I reached the top of the Rim and kept going, following cairns through the beautiful sandstone and ponderosa country. I reached the Rim Road and decided to make that my turn-around point. The sunset was quite nice on the way back, with ragged clouds and soft, warm light. I reached the trailhead and my truck after dark, shortly after spooking a herd of elk with my bear bell. Took a few night photos near the trailhead, then drove back toward Payson, stopping along the way to visit the haunted waterfall. Increasingly bright flashes of distant lightning were a sign of things to come.
A massive downpour made it nearly impossible to see for quite a few miles as I drove into Pine and up the Rim. Had a great night road trip over the Rim, stopped to take another time exposure photo along highway 260, then continued the drive home. I very much enjoyed my hike on the Babe Haught Trail, and my mini road trip. Babe Haught was a fine choice; I'll be back!
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