If you bounce around this thing called life thinking it's mountains, creeks and leaves flickering in the wind you are blind. Personally I think you are the luckiest person on earth.
7am - A warmer than anticipated 41 degrees accompanied us along our planned loop. Spotty patches of snow caught the attention of my nerves. Luckily that was end of the death blanket. We took the short stroll down Gaddes Canyon #110 to the real canyon...
Gaddes Canyon Two Trail #9037 is among my favorite stretches on Mingus. It is a beautiful forested ravine. No real perks. Simple canyon beauty with more evidence of bears than squirrels.
This was my first trip going up Coleman Trail #108. It seemed better than memory served. The secret is the overlook NW of 7282. Perhaps 7282 would merit a story political wannabes could toss money at detail lacking articles in transportation publications.
Our warm-up portion of the figure eight loop was complete. Back at the truck we indulged in Debbie's homemade monkey-cake to give the war on cholesterol a pat on the back. Next up was a partial new route from Lyding/Whiteman sources on West Rim Trail #538 to wrap us around the NW of Mingus. We passed through young dense pines on fading roads until we stumbled upon victory...
Butterfly Trail #536 is a nice route that explores upper Haywood Canyon. At least that was our experience on it's lowest quarter mile.
After passing through a parking lot marked as benchmark 7022 on topo I had a satellite drawn route to get us a little over a quarter mile down to Upper Mescal Trail #550. Bruce took it to heart looking for a trail... then he found a trail... naturally I took credit for my superior planning abilities. It quickly petered out.
The east portion of Upper Mescal Trail #550 is heaven for a tiny slice. Bug Hollow Trail #548 brings out the vista lover in you. We took the North Mingus Trail #105 highway back to Autumnfest along its upper stretches with #105A and #106. The invitations were messed up, that's next week! If you love autumn, check it out in a week or two. If you love a good hike, go anytime it's warm