So I picked the wrong day fr this hike...the humidity was murder. Planned on going to Kimball but stopped at the spring, which had FAR more flowing water than either dam. I thought that was really odd; I expected a lot of flow at the first dam after that storm. The trail is really overgrown in spots so this probably isn't the time to go if you haven't been before or grab the GPS route to take with you. Decent amount of wildflowers to offset the mud.
I like this trail. It apologetically hands it to you from the beginning. No lead-in, no warm up. I managed to get out there early enough that the sun was masked to the east on ascent and it was still less than 105F on the way back out. It's pretty clear that the section between the "moonscape" before the canyon floor to Prison Camp doesn't see a lot of use. Saw several big cat tracks. Probably bobcat based on the sign and gait.
Stopped off at the unofficial shooting range on the way out. It looks like the FS went through there and cleaned things up recently. It's a shame that it came to that, but we are probably lucky they didn't just close it. Every time I stop there, I end up hauling a hefty bag of crap out that I didn't bring in. The good news is that they placed two huge boulders at the entrance so that no one can drive in there any longer. That used to be a nightmare; I had a meth-head looking for spent brass drive his 1981 "Beater" right in my line of fire once a few years back. Selection Pressure arguments aside, I ceased fire...
Managed to get out early this morning before the rains. It was still very humid. This seemed like a fitting trail for a 4th of July hike. Stopped on the way down to shoot a little...I had to zero my new EOTech
Cold day to be back in there but beautiful. The trail was quiet, which was a welcome change - I never do most of these popular hikes. The snowmelt meant quite a raging flow at the falls so all of those precarious river crossings were well worth it!
Took Mini-Jeff up to the lookout. Perfect weather up there before noon today! Lots of wildflowers. There was a CNF firefighter up there who gave us a short course in smoke watching and was kind enough to allow us to drink from his spring source. He was a little puzzled when he saw that I was carrying two empty 5-gallon water jugs but was kind enough to let me fill the both of them from his pipe which is coming directly off Brinkley Spring and tasted great! Everyone we encountered on the way back up was puzzled as to why someone was hiking out of there with 84# of water and I never told a single one that it was for my winter harvest ale recipe (I wanted them to think I was extreme about fitness and feel ashamed )
WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.