By noon the sun is really beating down and we can see that people are already beginning to stop at campsites because of how warm it is. We make it to Buffalo Creek and FS road 543 at around 3pm. Bang, bang, bang – guess we set up near a shooting range or somebody is practice shooting close by. I had read there is a shooting range about 2.6 miles ahead of us but this seems like it is just across the creek. We “enjoy” this experience until about 5pm.
Daily Neet Beat
We talked about getting up early today to beat the heat and set the alarm for 4am. I had the watch on my side of the tent but slept right through the alarm. I can’t remember sleeping as well as I did last night. Maybe it was all the hiking, maybe it was the quiet night, I don’t know but it is not like me to sleep through the alarm. Ray woke me up at 4:30am and we took a little time getting ready. We are not in the grove yet as far as establishing a routine but we will get there.We are hiking by 6:30am. I love the morning but it felt hot right from the time we started. We are not that high in elevation yet as we are just a little above 7300 feet. We wander along the edge of rolling hills and enter another burn area.
There are houses on the fringe of the burn area in an area called Buffalo Creek. Segment 2 ends on a paved highway that goes to Bailey and it has a volunteer fire station 0.1 mile up the road. Someone has taped a sign to a tree saying “Got Water? If not the Firehouse has a water spigot on the north side”.
The fire station is a welcome stop for us as there hasn’t been water on the trail for the last 13 miles. Plus we can just drink it from the faucet without filtering it! What a luxury! We donate to the volunteer fire station, get water and move on.
Segment 3 mostly wanders through pine forests with granite boulder outcrops and seems to be well designed for mountain bikes. I like the design of the mountain bike trails as they generally have nice, well rounded switchbacks that are easy to go up and down. Most of the mountain bikers are very considerate that pass us letting us know they are there, telling us how many are behind them and wishing us a good hike.
We are tucked into bed by 7:30pm but it takes me a long time to sleep. We have at least 3,000 feet of climbing tomorrow and are heard up to an elevation of over 10,600 feet. We will be up bright and early to beat the sun and heat!
Just the Facts:
Total Miles: 16.4
Cumulative Miles: 36.3
Trail Segments: Start at 20.5 miles on Segment 2 and enter Little Scraggy trailhead, Segment 3 along FS Rd 550.
7.8 miles on Segment 2 and 8 miles on Segment 3 (plus a few extra 10ths of a mile to get to where we camped and to the fire station ugh the water spigot).
Camp Elevation: 7395 feet
Elevation Gain: 1262 feet
Elevation Loss: 672 feet
Weather: hot, dry and sunny