It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.
Bruce added in a little jaunt over Lane Mountain proper right off the bat. The views off Lane get me every time. Looking out through the pines to the ripples of the west valley is Disney perfect.
My 2014-06-28 report of #233 "Good shape" has changed to the first stages of gone by intrusion of vegetation. Like our last 3 loops on Lane we descended first leaving the grunt of the hike for the second half. By the time we reached the bottom it was too toasty for my feathered friend and we were both tired from the bushwhacking.
A new mining operation was interesting to see in action along FR711 between Burro John and Kentucks Grave. Between the equipment and land it must have cost a half million or more to startup. There is no running water so they just dug a hole in the creek until they hit agua about 20 feet down.
I've been thinking about this hike all summer for the peaches near Castle Rock aside an old cabin. Things have changed in the 3 years since our last visit. The locked cabin door is lying on the ground. The two peach trees have almost died along with a little joy in my heart.
The sour notes were weighing down on one of my favorite loops. While I'll likely return it was crystal clear I might be alone on that adventure... lol
A new cabin near Gazelle Mine helped lift the spirits. This Grizzly Adams approved cabin was filled with junk knick knacks, a funny sign, several classic vehicles from the 60-70s and a power shovel.
A long stretch of catclaw up the switchbacks after New Savoy had me on the rare lead. Temps cooled ascending as expected. The 1.7 mile walk on forest roads back to square one was enjoyable. Despite the woes I learned more on the area and enjoyed the hike overall. So without further adieu, who is up for a good 20+ mile day hike in the Southern Bradshaws =)