Set out to hike the Alamo trail but once we reached the TH things changed. The sun was shining behind Picketpost and the halo effect just called out to us. I mean who can turn down a Picketpost summit on a day like this. A day without snow, ice, rain, cold, wind, more wind, cold wind... Sorry I am still tortured from our last summit hike here. We made it to the top last time but we had no ambition to stay appreciate the accomplishment. Today was such that I almost took a nap up there.
We only had one sketchy moment. I had found a "Shortcut" on the approach to the third and last bench. It was arrowed out but there was a little exposure so I checked it out first, shimmying along an edge and up and over I could see the trail on the other side as I walked close to the edge of the wash but not close enough to notice the 8 foot drop. I returned to Wendi and spotted her as she did the shimmy to shortcut that after we finally negotiated the climb down (With quite a bit of personal courage on Wendi's part) we ended up taking 15 minutes to save 3, a deficit to be sure.
After signing in we checked out the north side this time having checked south end the last time. We walked along the northwest edge trying to get views of the Supes. Marveling out how close Buzzards Roost looked despite the drive out. Wendi noticed a giant cairn on the east edge so we headed over to that. As we got close we noticed a white cross made of welded horse shoes. We got to the giant cairn, it was framed against Apache Leap and that is when I realized I was looking east and that is when I remembered Cannondale's eastern approach. Y'ALL ARE CA-RAZY! I looked over the edge and looked down and could see that someone had been piecing a trail together using scraps of rock. Wow! I thought the western approach was borderline insane. I wait till you guys get a few more rocks put together down there.
We ate lunch at a campsite, contemplated a nap, pondered how well the stars would shine from up here should I ever camp at this spot. Afterwards we headed back down.
On the way back there was herd of black cows roaming around. I am not sure if it is mating season but there was some odd noises coming from the heard. Sounded a braying donkey mixed with a roaring lion. It was either that or perhaps a group ahead of us decided to mess with them. They had a young boy with them, and had quit the trail on the second bench. We heard a scream as we coming down the draw, so we didn't see what turned them around but I am glad they were able to do so safely. The boy was probably 6 or so and probably not ready this hike just yet, too much exposure.
All in all today redeemed Picketpost in our minds and we lived to to do it again next year.