I made another semi ambitious trek into the Primitive Blue Range. More specifically, I made my first significant indents into the more remote eastern portions. I say "semi ambitious" because I took along Cup and had to scale back some of my ambitions. However, Cup ended up doing just fine, Blanco loved carrying her food and we only had to alter our day two plans slightly in her consideration.
Day 1: I stayed at the Foot Creek Trail head and decided to just make the quick 2-3 mile drive up 191 in the morning to the trail head for P-Bar Lake Trail. Foot Creek TH is further off road has basic restroom facilities and forest service does not mind. The P-Bar Lake Trail is literally just a pull-off on side of road, not conducive to car camping with dogs. Day one miles seemed to go by and pile up fast. Grant Creek Trail is a really solid trail with minimal areas of complete fire devastation. The Paradise Park area is certainly in recovery phase, but looking very promising, with some stubborn ponderosa still alive and healthy guarding the meadows edges and several young 3-5 feet pine starting over among a mixture of fast growing aspen. Grant Creek Trail is a tad bittersweet though, as one can't help but think that eventually 9000 feet will have to be reached again after hitting a trip low of about 5,100 feet above sea level on the first day. Made camp at the intersections of Lanphier and Largo Canyon, great spot, probably pushed cup a little hard, (16.5 miles)threatened several times to storm but no significant rain.
Day 2I wanted to go the Bear Mountain look out, but Cup was a little beat after a tough day one, so I decided to skip Bear Mountain and return to the Blue River via Telephone Ridge Trail and Sawmill Trail. Was nice to finally get some data for this area of Primitive Blue Range. It will come in handy when I make my next trek there, hopefully to finally include a little dual state action and a quick cross over into New Mexico. Something I think Blanco and I could have knocked out with about a 55 to 60 mile trip, oh and maybe another day. Day two camp superb, had Cup off trail very early in afternoon, read some, prepped camp, cooled off in creek.
Day 3: A pretty standard hike out, however, did make a slight detour back down to Grant Creek via Paradise Trail #74. I am just trying to accumulate as much info for this area as I can, and I had not did that trail yet. In terms of miles, small detour, however, certainly added some more AEG to hike that I probably did not need and Cup almost certainly did not want. But the trail proved to be great! A real slice of "paradise" in spots, a tad tough to pick up near creek, some dead fall and erosion have really taken their toll on this trail's once much deeper cuts along the steep hillside leading down into Grant Creek. For a good laugh see my GPS Track where I turned around to go get my nice 16 dollar map, then stopped just under two tenths of a mile to return to pack where I was now sure I put it. Nope not in pack went back for map again, found about 100-200 feet further up trail from when I turned around first time. I had set map down to move a log in trail, never picked back up, but certainly not to proud to turn around twice in an attempt to recoup a $16.95 map.
Final Notes: AEG is probably a tad inflated, however, hard to hide from AEG in Primitive Blue Range easy to rack up out there and while it may look high, it is probably not as off as some might think.
Had to do more road walking then what I generaly like, but spirits were brightened by seeing a random white van with no windows driving around remote back roads with a personalized plate reading AMBRLRT, my thoughts exactly! At least he comes about it honestly.
Product Review I brought out my new Big Agnes Fly Creek 2 Platinum. Two thumbs up, was initially worried about durability with dogs, however, had both in tent by second night, no issues. So light and compact, found myself stopping to make sure I packed tent! I was not able to field test it in a good storm, but nice results for steady lighter drizzles.