Left the TH at 6:50am, really nice and actually a little cool for a startout! Was kind of aggravating on the outbound hike, as the mosquitoes were out en masse and ate me alive (I guess they liked me more than Denny). I was bitten all over...what I get for have no repellent at all on me!
At one stretch Denny took the lead, and came within a step or two of a diamondback rattler. It was still early in the morning and he was trying to warm up; he was very dormant. He blended in with the rocks on the trail so well that it was a surprise for him. He was probably a 4-footer, but he had a good set of buttons on his rattler, and he really didn't care to move. I didn't get any decent pictures of him, but check his photoset
, he posted a great shot. Even getting to the end of the trail at second water, in the shade it was really nice for a hot summer's day in the shade down there.
One helpful thing to keep in mind on this trail that I didn't see much of on prior posts is that just before you make that 490-foot descent to the creek, you come to a mini-saddle area. There is a faint trail that continues on straight ahead, but that is not the trail to take. Instead, take the trail to the right that has the immediate descent; it quickly bends back around to the direction you want to go.
We really took our time on the outbound, at 2 hours, but even with the ascent coming back with our picked-up pace we were back to the car in 70 minutes.
Difficulty (for me):
1/2 (of 5)