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OML Trip report 2/21-23 - Lessons Learned

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Offline jhwon80

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OML Trip report 2/21-23 - Lessons Learned
« on: February 25, 2019, 11:16:34 AM »
As the BBChat says, "Don't over/underestimate the OML" 

The OML is a trail to be respected!!  Especially the Dodson!

Now for the report.  My group of 4 had a little late start and and was a little ambitious to for our 1st day.  We thought we had plenty of time to start, but didn't get going until 1ish after caching water at the Ranch.  We started at the Amphitheater, up to Emory going clockwise.  Our plan was to get to the Lower Juniper Canyon, and we new that there was some night hiking involved.  Going up to Emory and the terrain reminded me a little of Guadalupe Mountain, but over all, not bad.  Elevation gain sucked though. :D

We all stuck together for the most part.  We had one guy in the group that wanted to hit the peak, so we let him go ahead and he caught up to us as we were going towards Boot Canyon.  Boot Canyon was full when we got there (2/21) and I was able to fill up my bladders with out a problem ( I was carrying a 3 liter and had 2 smart water bottles and a 4 liter dromedary).  As I was filling up, 2 (Legend & Dary) members went ahead, while i waited for my CBD to come down from Emory.  Apparently he was about 5 min behind.  I stuck around while he filled up and thought we would catch up to Legend & Dary quickly.  We didn't for a couple of hours.  That last ridge going up to Juniper was "fun".  We did get a trace amount of rain on us, but nothing serious.

We ended catching up with them on the Upper Juniper around 8pm.  At this point, we were getting tired and was only 3-4 miles from our original campsite, but going down at night was a little harry.  So we ended up finding the first Zone Campsite we could find.  about .25 miles in, we found it.  And it has to be the best campsite that we had come across!!!

Since our second day was supposed to be a little easier, we took our time going down.  We were only an hour away from our original spot to camp...but like I said, glad we found that first one....

The Dodson is nothing to take lightly!  Looking at the Topo, we saw where it would rise and fall, but did not know how hilly it was!!!! So, be prepared for ups and downs.    At this point, we knew that there was some water running based on previous Valentine's Day report, so we decided to check it out.  Dodson Spring had water in it, but it was overtaken by Algae and bugs....not fun.  So we move on to Fresno Creek. 

What a sight!!!  Fresno Creek had water!! and it was streaming pretty good (2/22).  I was able to fill up my 3 liter Osprey Bladder in about 10 seconds.  We sat there, drank water, re-hydrated and headed up the 5k stretch.  This is where we really underestimated the terrain.  By the time we got to the Dodson/Smokey Creek Trailhead, it was sundown. 

By the time we got down from the ridge and to the washes, we took it cautiously.  The Cairns are well marked for the most of it, but take your time looking for them! 

So, to end the report, we ended up setting up camp too late to have an early start the next day, so as a group, we decided to play it safe and decided that we could come back in 2020 to tackle the loop again.

Beautiful hike! No regrets on calling it quits, because the Big Bend will always be there.


Offline dprather

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Re: OML Trip report 2/21-23 - Lessons Learned
« Reply #1 on: February 25, 2019, 01:25:00 PM »

The Dodson is nothing to take lightly!  Looking at the Topo, we saw where it would rise and fall, but did not know how hilly it was!!!! So, be prepared for ups and downs.   

Old Counselor saying: "The map is not the field."
Leave "quit" at the car.  Embrace the trail as your friend.  Expect to enjoy yourself, and to be amazed.



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