Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Elk Hunt 2010

Opening morning, two nice bucks.  Quakies across the trail.  Hunted down and around.

Day two hunted the radio towers.  Went all the way to the top, seen a bull elk at 3 pm across Well's Gulch from just above Dalton's rock.  Seen a bear who bird dogged for me.  Steve seen a bobcat.

Day three we went up top to flowing park.  Dave, Justin, and Steve went to the end of the road and shot at some cows 700 yards.  I hunted the crunchy snow on the road to point camp.  Forgot my fanny pack.  Hunted the ridge... didn't see any elk below me.  Hunted down by xx lake.  Steep drop off, no way to hunt down.

Day four it was snowing hard.  Hiked up the ridge on the far side of Alkali Basin, but the blizzard turned me around.  It let up a bit so I wanted to hunt the bull I seen on day two.  Beautiful basin, but no elk.   I watched the park where I seen the bull, but didn't spot him.

New binos are great for seeing elk.  Day five Dave and I shot at some cows from the honey hole.  Dave followed a wounded cow for three miles.  I hiked up, seen a bull up high.  Made my way through the oak brush, then tracked him for a couple of hours.  Back down at Dalton's rock, I seen four elk up at Indian Point.  A doe followed by a little buck came into the park below d rock.

Day six Dave and Steve hunted from the cabins and I hunted from Point Camp.  Seen evidence of a bull, but seen no hair.  Drove to the end of blue grouse for lunch.  Decided to load my gun and spotted 30 elk on the hill above.  Took some long shots.  Tracked them across and down to the raging creek.

Day seven, Steve hunted low and I hunted the end of Blue Grouse again.  Went straight across along a trail, up the far ridge and along the ditch bank.  A plane scared the elk.  I seen evidence of many beds.  Decided to ride the ATV up the road and spotted some cows.  Took one shot.

Day eight we had to be out of there to go to Phoenix for the race.  Steve and I made it around the downed trees and to the end of the road.  My advice is to take the lower spur.  The horse trail is a much easier hike than up the ridge.  I spotted the bull on the next ridge and made my way across the basin.  I got within 400 yards, but too much oak brush to get closer.  Took my shots and dusted his ankles but couldn't draw blood.

Drive to Phoenix took all night.  I drove from Mexican Hat.

Lost Creek Wilderness Loop

It has been a while, but finally got out and hiked with my Colorado Trail partner Nick.  He has been exploring the Lost Creek Wilderness in Colorado and invited me along on an epic hike of 22 miles (some posts say 26 miles... I didn't bring my gps: mistake #1).  Of course Nick wanted to do it all in one day: August 18, 2012!

We got to the trailhead early and headed out.  Due to the length of the hike Nick was worried about finishing before dark so he set a blistering pace.  I almost broke into a trot to keep up.  There were many cars in the parking lot and quite a few folks in the first couple of miles, but we soon found solitude.   The picture above shows a typical Lost Creek scene of monuments.
 We came upon a nice campsite near the spot of the failed dam and old buildings.  We also seen the first hikers we had seen in a while.  Nice quakies.

Goose creek starts to become lost in this area.  We witnessed the tunnel where the creek makes its way through the rock and a man sitting lotus position meditating.  Very spiritual and feng shui.
At the top of the pass you see refrigerator gulch.  I'm not sure where it gets its name, but there are many monumental rocks in this fine wilderness.  Here is where I started seeing many mushroom species.  I'll post pictures later.
Approaching McCurdy park we were far from civilization and had not seen another person for hours.  My dogs were barking and we were only half way.  Serenity is in abundance here.
How about a nice combination of aspens, pines, and granite?

How about my ugly mug?  Hiking in my approach shoes, but why not.  Don't tell anyone, but fly agaric in this area.
Long before you reach this lovely rock, a word of extreme caution: you will reach the massive blow down of Lake Park trail.  There are so many trees blown down that you are in for one hell of a bushwhack.  It is easy to get lost here.  Funny how the wilderness rules work: no chainsaws, so it will be awhile before this trail is nice again.
Proof I made it.  The hike to the top of the pass after an unwanted set of switchback descent sapped me of any remaining energy.  Plus we still had six miles to go.  The long gradual descent back to the truck was enjoyable despite my tired feet and empty tank.  Here again you see the unique beauty of Lost Creek Wilderness.