I was afraid that the snow would hide the trails. There are no trail markers out there. I understand it is a bureaucracy thing: somebody doesn’t like hikers, bikers and equestrians on the land... (We have this Public Lands battle in Wyoming at this time!) But the trails were easily recognizable and in most cases somebody had been there before me after our most recent snow.
I needed to get about 8 miles of trails to finish my book. I got 6 but they were great! We have about three inches of snow on the ground. But I couldn’t find a place where it was a show stopper. In fact, the snow was much better than the mud where snow had melted (mainly on lower part of Cactus Patch.)
I did the major two tracks, Slickrock, Cactus Patch (I made sure to get the right one, this time!) Squiggly, Wiggly, Eternity Hill, and Juniper Alley. The only one that is not up to snuff is lower Cactus Patch due to mud.
I went up on Double Track and then Slickrock to Central. This is a credible hike for beauty! Then I went down Central which is nothing to write home about. At the junction of the Bus and Central I went down Gully/Salt Lick. I was aiming at Castus Patch.
Cactus Patch is a fantastic trail! I now know why it was recommended to me. After going down a gully on what is essentially the Gully Trail, it is uninteresting. But then you cross the gully, go up a short hill and BANG! It is there!
You are into this fantastic canyon. To share the canyon with me were mule deer! I saw them both from below the cliffs and then from above the cliffs. Unfortunately, the photos from above did not come out well.
Then I came down Central and onto Squiggly. Squiggly then into Wiggly and up onto Eternity Hill Two Track. The views from the ridge on Eternity Hill are to write about!
Then, I retraced to Juniper Alley. I kind of like this trail! At first you are on a spectacular ridge and then you go down and down and down into a gully finally emerging over the Bus two track. There is some really nice things to observe on this trail!
It was a great day! I was really afraid it would be a drag but it turned out very nice! ... See MoreSee Less
I tried to get in as much of the Bus as possible today for my guide. We are expecting nasty weather this afternoon: rain, snow and high winds.
I think I was successful. I got in G&T, Backside, Sketchy Bridge, Darkside and Steve’s Draw. These are the Eastern side of the Bus and are good prairie trails. The Darkside has a nice cliff.
There is also a zone of fossils at the Triassic-Jurassic Junction at the West end of Catus Patch and the West end of Steve’s Draw. I did not really do any fossil hunting but found broken belemnites in the trail and noted some bivacles in the rocks adjacent to the trail.
Today, I hiked arguably the hardest hike in my guide book: Fairfield Hill. I needed to get some data on it.
Before this, I had been returning via Vanessa Road. A few months ago, Shelli Johnson told me of a better way down. Thank You!
It not only saves on my knees (Vanessa Road tries to destroy them,) it makes the hike much more worthy of doing. It puts a ridge into the hike with beautiful panoramas. In addition, the hike down the mountain has much better scenery.
I was a little muddy on the ridge but there was less snow than I expected. ... See MoreSee Less