Last Week, I headed off trail to summit Buster Mountain. After a couple of miles, I arrived at the saddle in the middle, looked into the canyon, wilderness, Isolation and mountain lion territory beyond and thought, probably not a good idea to do this alone. What I did not know is, see that rise to the right of the saddle, that's Buster Mountain. I was a couple hundred yards from the summit. What lay beyond was Wilderness Dome and Leviathan Dome. Oh well.
Still oblivious to how close I was at the time, I talked "Vagabond Jeff" into joining me on the next attempt. He, I and his girlfriend Donna met on Sunday and shoved off. Jeff had downloaded a different route then what I had taken to his gps device so off we went. As always, nice views.
His route was, to be charitable, rough. What trail there was soon disappeared in.....
.....mile after mile of waist high grass and each of us was well aware of what could still be laying beneath or beside each step. Pretty much you just have to take an "oh well" approach although I was careful to put my foot in exactly the same spot as the person in front of me. We came through a couple of obvious animal dens, you can tell by the packed down grass, scat, prints, etc... but the animals were gone. One pile of animal poop had to be a bear, after examining its contents.
Above, very cool threads of reddish rock on the face of yellow rock.
We reached the summit of Buster, very disappointing as I looked wistfully at the Domes. I know there is a trail to one of them and am thinking about buying a gun (yes I know how to use and yes I own in Ohio). Hiking out here is a different feeling from hiking in Ohio. At times, the sense of isolation and vulnerability (there are lots of lions and bears up here and people have been attacked) both adds to the experience but also somewhat inhibits what I would otherwise do by myself. Anyway, finished the hike and put in a bike ride on Monday. Coming Tuesday, leading a group hike.