Little Grayback 1-8-18

Photos by Steve and Sunny

John's Report:

With a forecast for rain I was pleased to greet 14 hikers for a hike with some vertical. A light rain stopped on arrival at the trailhead when I threatened it with my magic poncho. Rich took the lead and off we went at a substantial pace.

Some mea culpa. On the French Gap road I poo pooed a large branch, put the SUV in 4 wheel drive and sailed through the obstacle. Liz, however, took this obstacle seriously and the crew got out and removed it from the road. Unfortunately Nanci dropped her vintage I Phone and one or more vehicles crushed it. She recovered the phone later but it was a shadow of its former self. I likely will not sleep tonight with guilt over not removing the obstacle, My calculation that Liz would regard the branch as an opportunity to demonstrate her off-road skills was sadly mistaken. These moral quandaries never end.

Up on the ridge we came to the usual lunch stop but the hiking gods decided to hit us with a horrifically cold wind. I followed some cleaver hikers to a sheltered spot across the ridge but most struggled on for a Hank lunch.

We were ready for some relaxation after all this and retired to Boomtown where they treated us well.

John

Rich's Impromptu Report:

14 hikers turned out for the first climb of the New Year. Our caravan left a damp and windy Ashland drove several miles through thick fog in Medford and broke through to mild climes and light rains in the Applegate. The 2 mile service road at the end was rough with potholes and one spot with some downed branches in the road. While our leader chose to blast over the obstructions the second of four cars stopped and Nancy C jumped out to clear the path for the rest of us. When we arrived at the Little Grayback TH Nancy noticed that her phone was missing. Our leader immediately took charge moving his car so Liz had room to turn around and take Nancy back down the road to where she had gotten out to clear away the branches. She found her phone although it had been run over by the following cars in the caravan. Time for a new phone.  He also directed yours truly to lead the remaining group up the trail.

So suddenly we had the humorous situation of an impromptu leader leading a group up a trail he had never been on. Up and up we went on a steady but fairly gradual climb through forests that sheltered us from any rain. As we neared the top of Little Grayback Mountain the sun came out and we stopped to remove layers. We made it to the open space of our lunch spot in less than 2 hours and had a nice view of Squaw Lake. However, shortly after we arrived a cold wind picked up and we had to bundle up again. Some in the group went over the top of the ridge to the leeward side of the mountain.

Tracy led the way back in about an hour and a half. It was around 8 miles up and back.
BTW apparently our Winters are not tick proof; Betty told me that while walking Irene's dog Stella she found three of those little graybacks on Stella's head!
Some of us stopped for refreshments at Boomtown on the way back. They have Boneyard IPA!

Rich Stickle
Impromptu Leader

 

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