The photos from today are no great shakes and don’t even begin to do the hike justice.
It was epic in its own rather special way. Julie and Abby and Ocean and I set off from Morrell Nature Sanctuary at 9 a.m. The whole idea was that we were going on an adventure – exploring, if you will.
We hit the top of Robert’s Roost and then set off down the other side. It didn’t take long to find a warren of trails on that side – who knew? Wonderful! So naturally we explored down the trails until we determined they weren’t taking us in the right direction. I had a few clues for getting up the southwest ridge of Mount Benson. The first clue was to find the quarry.
The third trail we tried led us there. Hurrah! So far so good. Near the quarry was an old logging road – that was the next clue. An even better one was discovering it went straight up. The way I see it, if you want to get to the top of a mountain, straight up is a good way to get there.
Next clue: a single track trail to the left that also appeared to go straight up – much better than a old road, so we headed up that way. The trail was well booted and well flagged with yellow tape. I adore whoever put up that tape – it worked so so well. It didn’t take long until I trusted it completely. It just kept leading up and north – just where we wanted to go.
And so we went – up and up and up. Near the top, on the last rocky ridges, the flagging flagged (ha!) and we made a few different trail (or off-trail) decisions. They got us to the top about four plus hours after starting. In fact, it was cold and windy on top and we walked down for five minutes before settling down in a sheltered spot for lunch. By then it was almost 2 p.m. Food has never tasted so good!
Next: get back to the car park. Again – a bit of adventuring. We went down the usual way until I noticed a trail going off in the direction we wanted to go. Why not – at that point, what could go wrong? We had horseshoes all the way. The trail eventually merged with another trail that we knew would lead to the trail back up to Cougar Bluff. But of course we turned down instead of up and made our way back to the pass around the Westwood Ridges – and from there, back to the car park at Morrell by 5.12 p.m.
Whew! What a fabulous day! What made it great: wonderful company, great workout, pretty trails, and the satisfaction of knowing we found our way both up and down (without a map, compass or GPS – so there!)