Monday, June 16, 2014

Our Traditional Fathers Day Hike Turned Out To A Bit More Than We Bargained For.

Last year, we officially started a tradition of a Fathers Day hike with the whole family.  We hiked Mores Mountain last year and even though some of the kids tend to think that any outdoor activity borders on cruel and unusual punishment, they all had a blast and did really well.  This year, I chose Castle Rock at the last minute.  We were two kids short and with a 2/3rd reduction of a chance of potential rebellion as we drove to the trail head.  I had done this hike two years ago but by a different route.  I had taken a long ridge as opposed to the trail we had decided to try this time.

We planed for a short and sweet, nice and neat hike to the rock.  We were in the parking lot just after 10:30am in mild temps with just a titch of humidity.

First, we had to hop across this creek that oddly, I remembered to be not so wide...

Ketchum, Ian and I stop for a photo on the trail.  Thanks Deez!

Ian got the lead and set a good pace.  As we continued up the trail, I noticed the spot where I had left the trail and hiked up and along the ridge line on the right, toward the rock.  We kept to the trail which became increasingly steep with loose dirt.

Ketchum doesn't mind the steep slopes, but it was getting tough on us.

If the funky old school Batman camera angle is any indication, this was steep.  Almost too steep.

As we climbed out of the gully, we thought our troubles were over, but that was not the case.  We followed the trail up as far as we could.  It got really steep again and we found ourselves going one at a time, helping each other over the difficult and loose ground.

Looking towards Horseshoe Bend.

It was a long and hard fought battle up the trail.  We got up to the ridge that Castle Rock sits on, but the trail died out into a less than desirable bushwhack to get to the rock.  The hour was getting late and we had dinner reservations.  We also heard thunder so we thought it was a good idea to call it day and head back to the car.

We were slow and steady getting everyone down the steep trail, but not without a few slips and slides.

Once we were past the hard stuff, we put these two jokers out in front and pounded down the trail back to the car in a slight drizzle.  A little farther down the trail, we came across two "Huntress's" in head to toe cammo gear with rifles in hand.  They appeared "locked and loaded" to me and they gave off a really weird vibe. Maybe they thought we were bears?  No way, we're loud and wearing bright colors.  I think they were just a little too excited.


They never gave us an "all clear".

I asked them what they were shooting at, to which they replied "Its bear season".  Duh...
They had indicated that they had bait further up and off the trail.  That was kind of funny because further up the trail, at the top of the gully, something caught my eye as it ran off and I'm sure Ketchum saw it too and he was not going near it.  He was dead still.  He would chase a deer, I've seen it.  Whatever this was, he wanted no part of it.

Hey, maybe that was a bear!

Anyways, we got back to the creek and took turns taking off our shoes and washing the dirt off our feet in the cold creek before heading home.  Ian actually thanked us for taking him on this hike!  I'm always happy to share the outdoors with the family, even if it turns out to be a bit more than "easy".

There is still hope!

We found this along Harris Creek Road on the drive out.  Awe sa-nap!

It was a fun hike, although I would recommend taking the ridge over the trail.  Maybe next year, I'll put a little more planning into the hike and find something new.  Oh yeah, we ended up pulling five small ticks off of Ketchum. Yuk!

-Granola out

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