And it did early Saturday morning as some of the gang piled into our Subaru for a drive towards Red Mountain Pass and a hike to Spirit Basin. Mark dropped off his truck about three miles before we came to the trail so we could make a loop and not have to walk along the road another three miles back to our car. It was a great idea as about the last four miles of our nearly seven mile hike were all down hill.
The trail actually started off fairly level, and included a creek crossing.
Then it climbed to remnants of an old mine.
Then we made a steep climb into Spirit Basin, a beautiful area full of wildflowers.
We stopped for a break and a snack.
Then Joalenn decided she wanted her picture taken in the flowers, which led to everybody doing the same.
John and Joalenn.
Suzanne trying to get into position as Mark stands by with the camera.
Us (Gayle and Jim).
Bobbie and Mark
Everyone had to get in the act.
The trail made one more good climb, with great views of Red Mountain ahead.
Looking down on the snaking Million Dollar Highway.
We also saw parts of a skeleton, a bear track, and evidence of elk beds. For a good portion of the trail back down it smelled like we were in a barnyard. We spoke with a couple who had seen the herd of around a hundred elk but they had moved on by the time we got there.
It was another great day on the trail. We’re lucky to have Mark and Bobbie as our guides, as this was a place we would not have found without them. And although it was a Saturday we only saw four other people and they were locals.