Sunday, July 3, 2011
Very Special Death March
The first part of the hike was the toughest; we gained then lost 1000 feet before reaching the point indicated in the photo. Then the trail hauled back up another hill to the top of Jury Ridge. I should mention that the Bird Mountain trail was actually in worse shape than North Bird Mountain. NBM started off bad - waist-high weeds for at least half of mile - but then it opened up and was well-maintained. Still, after lunch we slowed down, and we elected to cut off a corner of the hike and head up to Frozen Head.
There's an intersection where some the trails up Frozen Head meet, and a good chunk of our group elected to head down to camp. We were left with 5 of our original 12. As we headed up to the top of Frozen Head, thunder started rumbling and a few isolated raindrops fell, but the storm passed us. Good thing, because we weren't going to climb the metal lookout tower in a thunderstorm!
After, we were pushing it on time, so we took South Old Mac, the shortest trail back to camp. When we came off the trail, we still had a mile roadwalk, but it was our lucky day - Ranger Mike was in the parking lot, and he gave us a lift back to camp.
All told, it was about 15 miles, with a ton of elevation change.