BACKPACKING THE CITICO/SLICKROCK WILDERNESS
March 12-23 2009
HIKING A NEW TRAIL--GRASSY BRANCH
40TH ANNIVERSARY CRANBROOK TRIP
3 CRANBROOK LEADERS AT DONNER CAMPS
CRANBROOK CREW AT DOUBLECAMP SITE
CAMPING WITH 12 CRANBERRIES
4 DAYS OF RAIN
HIKING THE DEEP CREEK/HAOE TRAILS
CHAD HOOPER AND THE COKER CREEK 17
CITICO TRAILHEAD: A 12 day trip begins at the Grassy Branch trailhead and so I load up myself and Shunka and we leave the car and begin another March backpacking trip.
CRANBROOK SCHOOL LEADERS: The Cranbrook school in Michigan has been running 10 day backpacking trips for their high school students since 1979, and I always run into them in March, this time on the South Fork Citico at the Donner Camps.
BURNING TRASH ON MILL BRANCH: I leave the South Fork and go up the Rocky Flats trail and tie into the short but steep Mill Branch trail and set up my Hilleberg tent at a small place next to the creek by the first and only crossing.
A BACKPACKING CRANBERRY: As I set up camp near the Fodderstack trail, I run into 12 Cranbrook students and their leaders who join me at my campsite for the night.
GORDON AND THE CRANBROOK LEADERS: The Cranberries use Walmart tarps for their shelters and I go visit the leader's tarp for dinner at dusk.
UNCLE FUNGUS AT MILL GAP BMT: I leave the 'Berries and climb up to Mill Gap and get on the BMT and go south to my destination past Cherry Log Gap at a site I call Snow Camp.
A WINDY SNOW CAMP: I got caught in a rough rainstorm and nearly everything got soaked so when I got to Snow Camp I put out things to dry in the wind.
DEEP CREEK FOOTBRIDGE: I leave Snow Camp and climb up and over the Bob to the Hangover and fall off on one of my favorite trails, the Deep Creek/Haoe Lead loop. Here's the Deep Creek wooden bridge.
ON THE HAOE LEAD TRAIL: It's a briar and bramble filled, hot trail and it shows as I'm plumb wore out but I make it to my next camp around Jenkins Meadow where I find a new water source.
ROCKS ON THE HAOE TRAIL: The one reason this trail is my favorite is because of the big rocks all along the way. It's a spine ridge walk.
GRAVEYARD CAMP: I call this level campsite the Graveyard Camps because of all the fallen blowdowns along the whole ridge. It's another of my favorite camps.
CHAD HOOPER'S CREW: I run into fellow backpacker and friend Chad Hooper and his Coker Creek TN church group up on the Hangover and so I set up my tent further along the trail and we all hang out together. Here is part of their camp, and the ridge behind them is the Haoe Lead trail I came up from the Graveyard Camp.
THE COKER CREEK CREW: And a great group of people. Chad is in the back row in the blue jacket.
THE INDY FOUR: I run into the same backpackers I saw at the beginning of my trip and they all hail from Anderson College in Indiana. I name their campsite "Bree Camp" after the girl on the right, and this campsite will prove to be a cold and snowy place for me on a later trip.
ANOTHER NIGHT ON THE BOB: I get some good colors atop Bob Bald and settle into my second to the last night of the trip. The next day comes with a 9 mile hike down the South Fork Citico trail.
ALMOST DOWN THE SOUTH FORK TRAIL: I got cut up in the brambles but made it down to set up one last time by the South Fork crossing.
UNCLE FUNGUS BIDS THE WOODS GOODBYE--But I'll be back.