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Morning coffee in Crooked Hollow – Devils Backbone Wilderness (365:051)

Morning coffee in Mary Hollow - Devils Backbone Wilderness by Gary Allman
Morning coffee in Crooked Hollow – Devils Backbone Wilderness (365:051). Copyright © 2011 Gary Allman, all rights reserved.

It’s our second wedding anniversary, and what better way to celebrate it than backpacking? I sure do know how to show a girl a good time! I took today’s picture while we were drinking our morning coffee and making our plans for the day. Ginger, it should be added, surprised me with an anniversary gift – a CD. We had no way to play it though.

After breakfast and breaking camp, we hiked down Mary Hollow and followed the trail north and west to the North Fork River. The trail was obstructed by fallen trees in many places, and only a couple of trails are marked, so you need a map and to read the ground to make sure you stick to the right trail. We stopped briefly to admire the bluffs on the North Fork and to be completely disgusted at the mess left behind presumably by people camping in the wilderness while floating down the North Fork River. The almost complete lack of trash on the trails of the wilderness would suggest that this is the case.

We then climbed the 360 feet to the top of McGarr Ridge, and walked along the ridge and then negotiated the very steep 360-foot descent to visit Blue Spring, where we filled up with water (we have a filter pump and chemically treat our water), and had lunch. Our plan was to camp somewhere near where we’d first seen the river, and that meant retracing our path, climbing and descending McGarr Ridge again. We surprised ourselves by getting up the ridge quite quickly. Our new (but low-cost) trekking poles, brought for this trip, proved themselves invaluable going up and down the ridge. Once back at the river we didn’t want to stop at the campsite that had been abused by all the floaters, so we followed the trail North a short while and then cut down to the river. We found a nice secluded gravel bank where we spent the night, accompanied by the sound of running water.

We had managed around 4.25 miles again, though the climbs and descents took their toll on our legs.

Today’s outtakes & extras

Copyright © 2011 Gary Allman, all rights reserved.