We had a great time!
We left about 8AM Friday morning and got out Tuesday afternoon with a lot of hard driving in between. There was a lot of erosion in places and a lot of deep “whoop-de-doos”. I did it 3 times many years ago and we would not see a soul out there. Now lots of other vehicles and trails going every which way, making navigation very difficult. Kim did a great job keeping us on the correct trail, mainly using GAIA MAPS downloaded to a tablet with built-in GPS for moving map capability. It did not show one of the historic springs, but otherwise was very helpful.
We encountered the very steep hill with the deep spin-outs late in the day, so we took the bailout route. We were all tired by then. We had great campsites all 3 nights, however the second night was very cold! It was 36 F when I got up, so likely about 30 at 5 am.
The terrain included lots of deep sand, a few steep hills, some big rocks that washed down onto the trail at an alluvial fan crossing, two deep water crossings, and some deep erosion issues. But no problems!
By finishing Monday we beat the rain. But those of us who stayed to visit Calico “Ghost Town” had lots of wind (and maybe the others also) on the drive home. On the first full day of the trail we all stopped to visit Fort Piute, built in the mid 1800’s. It now has interpretive signs. We also did a hike at the end of the trail to see the scant remains of Camp Cady. It was very hard to find and not much was left, but two of us did find it, but only after a long search.
Written by Gary V.