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I understand your reluctance to do Dodson at night given your last experience, but I've never had trouble finding my way on the Dodson at night.Also, having done OML as a dayhike every which way, I think the best way to do it is from HW, get the BC hump out of the way first, around the Rim, down Juniper and then across Dodson. I agree with dprather that doing the Juniper after Dodson is a bi atch. Also, going down BC, with its loose and steep trail bed, is way tougher on the knees and more prone to falls than going down the bomber trail bed of the Juniper. So go UP BC, and not worry about slipping down, and literally you can run down Juniper. Then tackle the nice rolling hills of the Dodson after a nice downhill.
Thanks for your very detailed reply. One of the really great "services" provided by BBC is these thorough discussions of "Why?" You are providing us with a practical goldmine of experiences (and a vicarious thrill).One comment and one more question (please):Comment: I did the same abbreviated OML starting and ending at the same place last year as a 48-hour solo trip and I lost the trail near Juniper Spring just as you did. I didn't even know I had lost the trail. I was following a ledge that I thought was the trail until I stumbled into the real trail. That was in full daylight. I wonder what is going on right there that makes the trail indistinct?Question: did you inform the powers that be at the Park of your 24-hour solo? Since the permits we receive are for camping in the backcountry was a permit in any way needed? What is your thinking about letting the Park know what you attempting?
HMoD, I always enjoy reading your trip reports, but this one was especially beautiful and truly a joy to read. More so than any Hemingway Iíve ever read! I particularly enjoyed the science and biology angles you added to your recounting of your adventure. Coincidentally, my husband and I were camping up on the northeast rim that same cool, misty night. Looks like though we were only a couple of miles apart at one point, our paths didnít cross. Maybe next time. Congrats on a successful trip and my favorite trip report Iíve ever read. Makes me want to go back already!
I believe the main problem with the trail at the "No Camping Zone " sign is due to the fact that the trail going uphill was following the old ranch road to the water troughs. The trail takes a unnatural turn at the sign where the OML trail leaves the old ranch road. This throws a wonkie un-NPS-ish trail direction change in the mix.Basically, what I'm hearing is that all y'all who loose the trail right there simply need to do more OML backpacking trips.
HMOD, I so greatly appreciate your input on this forum. You weave such intricate, informative, and entertaining threads on here, and I just wanted to let you know how much I, and I'm certain so many others, appreciate greatly. Great trip report. Congrats on your overcoming and pushing through. Cheers bro!
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