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OML CCW 3/8-3/11 Return after 30-year absence

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Offline lgibson

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OML CCW 3/8-3/11 Return after 30-year absence
« on: March 12, 2019, 04:31:07 PM »
First let me thank the forum for recommending the CCW loop. It gave us (the SO and I at 77&78) a perfect crescendo in difficulty. Had we begun with the Pinnacle trail we might have turned around.
I was really nervous about getting a permit during spring break after a 6-hour drive from El Paso. So we drove down the 7th (Thursday) to find the rangers twidding their thumbs, waiting for folks to show up in the specially arranged backcountry office. No one was in line at all (10 am). It also didnít hurt that we were looking for a next-day start, having booked a site weeks ago in the Chisos Campground. A recent poster was correct in that NP campgrounds are not a wilderness-lovers delight, even with a generator-free zone.
So after securing the permit we did the water cache at Homer Wilson, then went up into basin for lunch. We lolled away the afternoon reading and fiddling with our packs but skipped the restaurant dinner and went to bed early. Friday had high had thin clouds which made for a comfortable trip down Blue Creek. We met no one, only visiting with some folks at the end of the day at the Ranch House. We took the first spot we came across in CO4 and left the rainfly off, enjoying the stars. Day 2, east across the Dotson was also quite comfortable, though the forecast was for low 90ís on the desert floor. Lunch under a lone tree was so cool with a breeze we had to don jackets. Fresno Creek was outstanding, a real oasis in the desert, after which we pushed on with 18 pounds of water stuffed into the top of my pack. Due to a glitch in my Gaia nav system we stopped a couple of miles too soon for the day at a great camp site on the ridge. This led to a 13-mile third day. Finally it was beginning to look like spring break with a dozen or so hikers on Juniper. There was lots of conversation about the two huge rattlers stationed right along the trail about a mile up from the parking lot. There was water in Upper Juniper and it was easy to find with the gps coordinates I requested here. (Thank you!) We stopped alot but finally made it to the 7100 ft. high point. Descending, Boot Spring was good. The pipe took only a minute or so to fill each of my 2-liter bags. I had reserved SW4 on the South Rim for the night, an extra couple miles. We found it in the dark. The map makes it look like SW4 is right on the edge, but really itís nicely sheltered back in the trees. The shelter was welcome as a back-door weather system brought winds followed by morning fog. There were many spring breakers on the Pinnacles going down and no place to park at the trailhead/lodge/visitor center, a real holiday atmosphere.
Great trip! And thanks to Big Bend Chat OML forum.

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Offline mule ears

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Re: OML CCW 3/8-3/11 Return after 30-year absence
« Reply #1 on: March 12, 2019, 06:21:50 PM »
I love everything about this report especially the part about your 30 year gap and your youth!   :notworthy:  Take that you millenials!

Congratulations and this is the second report that makes it seem like maybe the park is having one of it's off years as far as spring break crowds go.  That would be a great thing.

Also happy to see that the pipe at Boot Spring is still running as it was reported not to be a few weeks ago.  Thanks!

 :eusa_clap: :eusa_clap:
« Last Edit: March 12, 2019, 06:38:29 PM by mule ears »
temperatures exceed 100 degrees F
minimum 1 gallon water per person/day
no shade, no water
http://40yearsofwalking.wordpress.com/

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Offline jtemples

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Re: OML CCW 3/8-3/11 Return after 30-year absence
« Reply #2 on: March 12, 2019, 08:15:04 PM »
All I can say is - wow.  I'm a newbie to this forum.  My wife and I (me 54/her 47) completed the same route/itin 2 weeks ago as you and your SO accomplished, and I cannot imagine hiking this route at 77/78 yrs old.  My hat is off to you sir, and your trail partner.  :notworthy:  Would love to hear about what experiences/hikes you had back 30 years ago.  Cheers.

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Offline dprather

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Re: OML CCW 3/8-3/11 Return after 30-year absence
« Reply #3 on: March 12, 2019, 11:39:02 PM »
Inspirational.  Truly, truly inspirational. 

The number of 77/78-year-olds who do what you have done is minuscule.  Please take incredible satisfaction in what you have done.
Leave "quit" at the car.  Embrace the trail as your friend.  Expect to enjoy yourself, and to be amazed.

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Offline catz

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Re: OML CCW 3/8-3/11 Return after 30-year absence
« Reply #4 on: March 13, 2019, 10:08:28 AM »


Congratulations and this is the second report that makes it seem like maybe the park is having one of it's off years as far as spring break crowds go.  That would be a great thing.
 
 :eusa_clap: :eusa_clap:

Spring break for most of Texas (including UT) isn't until next week.
Wake me when it's time to go.

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Offline wotantx

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Re: OML CCW 3/8-3/11 Return after 30-year absence
« Reply #5 on: March 17, 2019, 03:52:31 PM »


Congratulations and this is the second report that makes it seem like maybe the park is having one of it's off years as far as spring break crowds go.  That would be a great thing.
 
 :eusa_clap: :eusa_clap:

Spring break for most of Texas (including UT) isn't until next week.
Maybe for the universities, but tons of public schools were last week. I don't know how many scout and church groups we saw.

Sent from my Pixel 3 XL using Tapatalk


 


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