PCT - Ski Road to Grouse Gap Shelter 9-3-18

Following our Fearless Leader's motto "Hike when you can" I decided to poll our members to see if any would like to hike on Labor Day. Even though we have had some of the worst air quality in the country during July and August, the Monday group has still managed to average four hikes in those months by having plan B hikes and moving hike dates to Friday or Saturday if it gave us improved air.

Anyway getting back to the impromptu poll, YES said Sunny I want to hike! Shortly followed by Denise and Jeff with affirmative votes. That settled it the hike was on with all hikers reporting to the Rite Aid parking lot by 9 am.

On my drive over I got a call from Mary Ellen letting me know she invited a new friend, Scott Murphy who would proceed her to the lot. Mary Ellen has brought many hikers to the Monday group including Cypress John who joined us, too.

The sky was a clear blue and the temp mild as we drove up Mt Ashland Ski Road to our turn off opposite the PCT. The air quality index (AQI) was 45, a Good rating. But unfortunately, we still couldn't see Mt Shasta through the distant smoke.

After hiking through the forests, we found color in the meadows even though most wildflowers were past prime. Many other hikers were on the trail enjoying the holiday with their dogs.
We made the Grouse Gap Shelter just after 11 am. Scot, John, and Steve Stark quickly found they all had a passion for English sports cars of the 50s and 60s including do it yourself repairs.
We all enjoyed fresh fruit from Mary Ellen's garden including Asian pears.

After our group shot we hit the trail for the 3+ miles back. On the way back Denise collected horse deposits for her backyard compost pile. We were all impressed with her dedication to preserving natures bounty. And Sunny gave her an appropriate (?) nature name. Post hike we headed down the mountain to Callahan's.

Rich

Ashland Hiking Home

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