8 forum posts
My wife and I just returned from a 5-day backpack in the Citico Wilderness, Monday through Friday, where the weather was perfect and the crowds were somewhere else (probably Dollywood).
I'll begin with a list of firsts:
1st backpacking trip for my wife since she was a kid.
1st backpacking trip for my two dogs.
1st time on the Southfork, Mill Branch, and Rocky Flats trails.
And finally, 1st time posting a report to Trailspace (I found the site yesterday while home-googling away the rain).
We started at the Southfork/Northfork Citico trailhead.
And ten minutes up-trail we encountered the most dangerous of wilderness creatures - a large group of teenagers ... Uh-oh, we thought, Spring Break.
Undeterred, we carried on, and the SF was cold and white, making for some fun crossings.
My little pup, Baby Beans, needed some help.
We spent the first night about 5.5 miles up the SF, just below the trail's ascent to Cold Springs Gap.
The next day we climbed up to the gap, and since a thunder cloud was rolling over Bob, we called it a short mileage day and camped there.
Around supper time, a herd of teenagers plodded through on their way out of the wilderness (see Tipi's latest thread for an explanation of the Cranbrooks).
And then, a constant wind plowed through the gap and nearly blew us away; our tent threatened to turn into a hang-glider, so we moved camp out of the jetsream (and yes, into the middle of the trail, but hey, it was late and we were out of the way by sunrise).
From there we took the Bob connector - which our outdated map and guidebook listed still as the Fodderstack - to a sunshine bald.
And then the western slopes of the Fodderstack, where the sun baked us all like it was summertime and my wife's western shoulder turned cherry red.
We spent the third night just below the gap where the Mill Branch Trail starts.
Then to the Rocky Flats trail where we set up on our own Island with an easy 2.5 out to the car for the last day.
Highlights: My wife loved the hike (she's spent the last two days since inspired and planning the details of our summer trip on the Robert Louis Stevenson trail in France). The dogs were wonderful, though a two man tent with a 90 lb lab can get crowded. Other than the two large groups of teenagers, we only saw 6 other people the entire time. The high-water Citico crossings were a blast. We jumped one bear at a distance and another close enough to scratch behind the ears. Ciphering the trail junction at the Bob connector with our old map and guidebook. Our own island. Thai noodles in spicy peanut sauce. Four cheese instant taters. Laughing our way through the Sacketts - it's not meant as a comedy, but ...