This was supposed to be an easy day with only 22 miles, well groomed trails, and gentle ups and downs in preparation for a longer one next week. I put together a Supes loop which would also get us up by Charlebois again, to find the Master Map of the Supes that we failed to find last week. Joe was in, but asked to add a little 2 mile round trip, an exploratory mission. Not one to pass up a bit of adventure, I said sure, without really looking at it. (Not that that would have changed things)
We started out at the First Water TH at first light, knowing that this week we'd be back before dark. We knew that the "itching with a B and Moaning" would probably be at an all time high on this hike, since, between the two of us, we were running on a total of 3 hours sleep. We passed a few groups of Back Packers on our way to our first stop on top of Black Top Mesa. The views were just gorgeous up there. We spent a little time searching the South end of the Mesa for the petroglyphs. We found a Sun, Snake, a couple of names from the early 1900's, and some pictures we could not Id.
Next, we were off for our little 2 mile detour. The first mistake we made was to get on the Lost Black Top Mesa Trail (Thanks nonot fo the description) instead of getting on the continuation of Bull Pass. This actually was a pretty nice trail that got us to our "Side Trip" quicker. On the way, I saw off in the distance what looked to be part of an old rusty car. As we got closer, it was actually a dead horse. It didn't look like it'd been there all to long
So now we start our "Side Trip". The mission, enter the drainage at the North end of Bluff Mountain, climb to the base of the Water Falls, find the ropes, climb said ropes to the top of the Mountain, go over to the top of the falls, take a few pictures, and return. On the Map, about a mile one way and 700' in elevation change. It took us 2 hours and 20 minutes to make it to the falls.
We ate our lunch here and both decided we did not want to go back down what we'd just come up. so now it's time for a change in hike plans. We ended up hiking to the other end of Bluff Mountain (The opposite direction of our TH) and met back up with the Dutchman at the Ely-Anderson intersection.
From here it was the Dutchman, off past Charlebois (With a stop, finding the Master Map!!), and back to where we'd started our "Side Trip" some 12 miles and almost 9 hours previous
at Bluff Pass.
At this point it was time to just get his friggin' hike done. We marched at Zombie warp speed and made it back to the truck just a few minutes short of 9pm.
The hike looked very little like what was planned, but as always with Joe Joe, and adventure.
Thanks Joe for...........