July 12, 2015

Jarbidge Wilderness...again

As if one session of Jarbidge punishment wasn't enough we went back for another.
This time we approached from the east. The contour lines, indicating the way the trail staying high above the fray, had me thinking positive about this one. The ol' 77 would allow us to start at a high elevation trailhead south of Pole Ck Ranger Station after a 5 hour drive from Wells.
We left SLC after Lisa got off work with a place named Bishop in our sights. The old '77 ran strong and true, like it always does when were Nevada bound. We stopped by Bellas diner in Wells for some grub, then eased on north across the hinterlands of the wild and wonderful Great Basin of Nevada. We found Bishop Hot Springs up a side canyon off our route that would be home for the night after we shoveled some cowshit out of the way. Did a bit more shoveling to make the blazer, and our bed, sit level, then went for a dip in the hot water coming from some mysterious place deep in the earth, supposedly next to molten magma that I hear is down there somewhere. I was about done with shovel work so we set the stove on the hood to make our coffee the next morning. We got things tidied up the next morning after another dip, some coffee, and some eggs pendejo, in that order, and proceeded on our way.

Bishop Hotsprings

eggs pendejo ala hood

We got to a wonderful trailhead with views way into Idaho and beyond. The blazer approved of it's view that it'd have for the next several days while it waited for us.

the road to Pole Creek

the Serengeti Plain

Day 1:
God's Pocket Peak Trail #099 past Hummingbird Spring. It was quite evident that Hummingbird Spring is as far as the forest service, or anyone for that matter, has been for a long time. Continuing west we'd tie into our route from a couple years previous near the head of Camp Creek after waking some elk from a mid summers nap.

taking a break along Gods Pocket Peak Trail

knarly old trees 

took three whistles to wake this guy up

somebody left their refuse right in the trail

Day 2:
Day two would be the end of the fun walking above the "fray" with big views everywhere. We descended into Camp Creek and when we did the jungle started. Not just a jungle, but a Shitty Stinging Nettle jungle that pretty much sucked! Stung in the face and hands and after several miles broken only by the crossing of blown down trees we started the ascent up trail #015 to an un-named pass where we'd take a break about 5pm looking down another un-named canyon where we'd hopefully find a campsite. We thought for sure we'd find a camp at Cottonwood Creek, but did not. As if on que to answer the question..."can it get worse?" it sure as hell did. The bottom of Cottonwood Creek where the FS says trail #102 is, is surely not, and hasn't been for years! Just before it was too dark to see, and after about 8 hours of a true Jarbidge Slogg we found a sandy spot in the bottom of Cottonwood Canyon that would be camp for the night. We just had to uproot some stinging nettle to make a place big enough to sit and cook our gruel.    

Camp Creek downfall

Trail #098 and the Stinging Nettle Jungle of Camp Creek

woke these guys from a nap in Cottonwood Ck.

the Terraplane at camp 2.
Day 3:
After our night in the bottom of Cottonwood Creek we not-so-affectionately designated it the most terrible backcountry camp we'd ever had. Working up canyon we were able to get above the fray on elk trails several hundred feet above the jungle of Cottonwood Creek. We watched about 15 elk browsing on the jungle below in apparent happiness, oblivious to the stinging nettle. After a few more hours we came out to the last sign we'd seen, near Hummingbird Spring, at the beginning of our loop a couple days previous. We stopped for a break and swore we wouldn't be back to the Jarbidge. I'm not sure if that's true, but I hope so. 

A good strong woman several hundred feet above the fray.

taking a break and swearing off the Jarbidge

A good place to die...the Matterhorn in the distance

route of Jarbidge 2.0

1 comment:

  1. Looks gnarly Mick! Glad you and Lisa made it out alive.