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Basin to Rio Grande Loop December 15-19

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Offline eric

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Basin to Rio Grande Loop December 15-19
« on: December 24, 2013, 01:45:20 PM »
Just finished typing up a summary with photos to my recent and first hike in Big Bend.   I just finished an internship in Dallas, and being from Michigan couldn't pass up an opportunity to hike in such a different environment.

 I was able to combine trip reports listed here by brendan (outer-outer mountain loop) and Mule Ears (Dominguez to Mariscal canyon).  Many thanks for your detailed reports!  They were crucial to the planning of this adventure!

Anyway here is a link:

http://ericshikes.blogspot.com/p/big-bend-national-park-2013.html

Let me know if you have any questions about the route, gear, etc...

Thanks,
eric

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Offline steelfrog

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Re: Basin to Rio Grande Loop December 15-19
« Reply #1 on: December 24, 2013, 01:57:06 PM »
That is awesome Eric.  75 miles in 4 nights much of it off trail in a remote section of the park, alone, scarcely seems possible!  Bravo!  A lesser person surely would not have been able to accomplish that.  At least not without getting into trouble.

I also enjoyed some of your other trips, especially the Colorado Trail one.  Making me reconsider my planned trip to Cali in July--may have to head to Chicago Basin and surrounds...

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Offline mule ears

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Re: Basin to Rio Grande Loop December 15-19
« Reply #2 on: December 24, 2013, 04:06:32 PM »
eric what a spectacular first post on the board!  Welcome!

I am so excited to see the pictures and read the description of the Mariscal Mtn. spine walk.  As you know I was most disappointed not to do it in 2011.  You took a much more direct route to the top than I had considered. Well done.

I did a quick and rough route trace on Nat. Geo Topo and it looks like the whole loop is around 83 miles or so.  A great walk in just over 4 days.   :notworthy:  I am glad that my trip report and others gave you enough details and ideas to put this one together.

I looked at your gear list for the CT trail I assume yours for this trip was similar.  Did you carry 1.5 gallons from the Rio Grande to ET?  How did the Innov8's handle the rough rocky conditions of Big Bend?

I am sure that more questions will follow but this has been a wonderful early Christmas present.  Thanks and Merry Christmas to you!

 :welcome: :a035:   
« Last Edit: December 24, 2013, 05:10:39 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 catz

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Re: Basin to Rio Grande Loop December 15-19
« Reply #3 on: December 24, 2013, 04:53:57 PM »
I can't believe you made it from Elephant Tusk, to Fresno Creek, up to the Dodson, on to Juniper Canyon, up Juniper Canyon, and then to the Basin in just one day.  Incredible!   :notworthy:

The entire hike was an epic.  Thanks so much for posting it.   :eusa_clap:   :high5: 
Wake me when it's time to go.

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Offline eric

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Re: Basin to Rio Grande Loop December 15-19
« Reply #4 on: December 24, 2013, 07:51:17 PM »
Thanks everyone for reading!  I'm glad you enjoyed it!

Steelfrog: Weminuche Wilderness is highly recommended. I didn't even have time to make it over to Chicago Basin.  There's also the Durango Silverton Train that you could use for a nice loop in there.

Mule ears:  as for the direct route, I wasn't sure where I wanted to go up.  I looked on google earth some and saw the trail on the map and thought I might start from the south end when it looped around.  When I looked up it didn't look too bad from where the trail began turning south so I just went up, slightly angling to the South as there was a ridge there.  I hope to add some more pictures from the actual traverse, but I wish I took more.  Most of it was fairly easy walking.  For water I had a 2 liter platy, 1 liter gatorade bottle, 1 random bottle, and 3 1/2 liter aquafina bottles so max water capacity was 1 gallon and 1.5 liters.   I filled up completely at the Rio but I think I drank some of it later that night. Another half liter would certainly have been helpful.  If I would have known that water was available, there would have been no issue, it's just that big if not knowing so I had to save just in case I couldn't find anything. I did have some innov-8s but not the same ones that I used primarily in Colorado.  Those ones have seen better days and are not suitable for anything much more than a keepsake for memories  :dance: .  The ones I took probably already had almost 200 miles but they're pretty much done now too!  But they did pretty well as far as support and grip, just pretty much shredded by the rocks! Plus lots of sharp plants went right through the mesh uppers.

Catz: the hardest part was just getting on the Dodson.  It was probably only 5 miles of the day but I was probably going like 1 mph cause it took me all morning haha! The climb up Juniper was also farther than anticipatedůmaybe that's why others were telling me I was going backwards :eusa_think: Finishing with a night hike on solid trail was another dimension to the adventure!

I did have an Inreach that I used for tracking/navigation so I hope to get a file with most of my route on here soon.

Thank you all for the warm welcome!  Hope you all have a Merry Christmas!

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Offline guc126

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Re: Basin to Rio Grande Loop December 15-19
« Reply #5 on: December 24, 2013, 10:18:34 PM »
"Iĺm not much about reflecting while out on the trail as some people envision hikes in the wilderness.  I simply find pleasure in long walks through beautiful terrain.  The life of a hiker is so simple: wake up> intermix hiking, eating, water treating, picture taking throughout the day>go to sleep.  Repeat until the next resupply stop.  Then repeat again and again until the journey is complete!"

Thanks Eric, so true.

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Offline Geezer

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Re: Basin to Rio Grande Loop December 15-19
« Reply #6 on: December 24, 2013, 11:33:17 PM »
"Winged feet" occurs to me!
 
Thanks for sharing!

Geezer

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Offline mule ears

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Re: Basin to Rio Grande Loop December 15-19
« Reply #7 on: December 25, 2013, 07:43:05 AM »

Catz: the hardest part was just getting on the Dodson.  It was probably only 5 miles of the day but I was probably going like 1 mph cause it took me all morning haha! The climb up Juniper was also farther than anticipatedůmaybe that's why others were telling me I was going backwards :eusa_think: Finishing with a night hike on solid trail was another dimension to the adventure!

I did have an Inreach that I used for tracking/navigation so I hope to get a file with most of my route on here soon.


It will be interesting to see your track because you sure got turned around on both the Smoky Creek trail and the ET trail.  Those slow downs alone could have really put you behind timewise (and lost/confused for a while)  I am surprised you so easily cruised on through those situations.  Especially your descent of the falls on the east side of Sugarloaf mtn., where the Smoky creek trail goes to the west side.  That stops most folks and the only reports I have read (including mine) has folks going down/around it on the opposite side you did.  I do find that sometimes the less used trails are more trouble to follow than just going cross country is.
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 sleepy

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Re: Basin to Rio Grande Loop December 15-19
« Reply #8 on: December 25, 2013, 10:15:13 AM »
DUDE! :notworthy:

That late evening shot of Mariscal Canyon is outstanding.  Congratulations on an epic adventure. You've done more on your first trip than many experienced hikers here.
Thanks for sharing.
It's never too late to be what you might have been-Geroge Elliot

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Offline Robert

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Re: Basin to Rio Grande Loop December 15-19
« Reply #9 on: December 25, 2013, 10:49:23 AM »
It will be interesting to see your track because you sure got turned around on both the Smoky Creek trail and the ET trail.  Those slow downs alone could have really put you behind timewise (and lost/confused for a while)  I am surprised you so easily cruised on through those situations.  Especially your descent of the falls on the east side of Sugarloaf mtn., where the Smoky creek trail goes to the west side.  That stops most folks and the only reports I have read (including mine) has folks going down/around it on the opposite side you did.  I do find that sometimes the less used trails are more trouble to follow than just going cross country is.

Funny, ME, I read the report this morning and saw the photo from the Sugarloaf cut over trail and was thinking that he must have hiked over from the west side and that he was way off the mark if he thought the cairns going left (up wash) were from the "old trail". But the ability to stay calm and adjust the route to keep on going in the right direction is amazing. I think most people who hit the big pouroff would be very confused with no obvious route to take.

Very nice report Eric!

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Offline Lance

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Re: Basin to Rio Grande Loop December 15-19
« Reply #10 on: December 25, 2013, 12:31:52 PM »
Great trip report Eric!!  Not bad for your first time to the Big Bend.  Bravo! :eusa_clap:
Thanks for the pics near Elephant Tusk.  Gives me confidence there will be water in the drainage.
I liked your comment about Elephant Tusk mocking you. I get the same feeling every time I'm near that mountain.
The Mariscal Mountain spine hike is something I've wanted to do as well, looks totally cool.
I'd be interested in seeing your GPS track if you are willing to share.
Thanks again!!!!!!

This pic is awesome!


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Offline Geezer

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Re: Basin to Rio Grande Loop December 15-19
« Reply #11 on: December 25, 2013, 08:10:41 PM »
Eric,

On your site, you say, "I searched for Dominguez Spring and when I looked down into a valley I saw the ruins listed on my map and also a trickle of green slimy water running down the rocks.  I found a small pool that I was able to dunk my water bottles in to refill them.  I then treated the water with aqua mira drops."

Sounds like the water you found was just above the broken dam, which is very near the ruins. Is that correct?

Also sounds as if the quality of the running water was not great ("slimy"). And you use the word "trickle."

The last Dominguez spring report posted on this site (Homer67, late Nov.) read as follows: "Upper Dominguez Spring, not far from the base of Jack's Pass, is currently flowing very impressively."

I'm wondering whether flow has almost ceased since November or you and Homer 67 were looking at two different locations, one at the ruins (Eric) and the other a little way upstream (Homer).

Thanks for your patient help!

Geezer





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Offline eric

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Re: Basin to Rio Grande Loop December 15-19
« Reply #12 on: December 25, 2013, 08:55:14 PM »
Geezer,

I'm not one with much experience on what is considered a good flow for desert springs.  I'd guess it should continue for some time.  It was running more than a small trickle but not enough for it to simply flow directly into my water bottle. The pool was plenty deep to allow my Gatorade bottle to fill completely and it was only green and slimy on the bottom of the pool and as the water was draining downstream.  I didn't pre-filter and didn't really have many particulates so good quality overall.  I probably should re-word this a little in the blog.  Also, when I get my track up, hopefully you will be able to identify if I was at a different location than previously reported.

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Offline Geezer

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Re: Basin to Rio Grande Loop December 15-19
« Reply #13 on: December 25, 2013, 09:45:15 PM »
Eric,

Thanks, that helps.

Geezer

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Offline fartymarty

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Re: Basin to Rio Grande Loop December 15-19
« Reply #14 on: December 26, 2013, 01:11:25 PM »
Excellent! Thanks Eric!   :eusa_clap: :13:

I'm looking forward to the GPS track as well, not that I'll ever make that hike, but I can enjoy it just looking at it on a map.
Fort Worth

 


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