Almost to Green Springs trail head.
The Vanagon "Mothership" camp. Two days of short acclimatization hikes at 6,000 feet.
Laid out on a picnic table my backpacking food. I select enough for a seven day hike.
The moon is waining, my hike about to start!
I go up the Pony Ridge Trail. Heading for "Last Camp".
Excellent views the higher I go.
A very low to the ground flower. Don't know what it is.
I'm unable to pass up this photo opp!
The trail signs are in bad shape and obviously from years ago.
"Last Camp" is where I am headed.
I encountered quite a few "blow downs" across the trail during my seven day hike.
Distinctive "Hammerhorn Mountain" getting closer.
Hmmm" Paw print? I did see one Black Bear near "Green Springs".
Smoky, haze filled day. No fires that I have heard of though.
Ridge top walking and the view to the west. Definitely something making smoke way on the horizon.
Very minty tasting Penny Royal leaves on these flowers. Prolific at this altitude, around 7,000 feet.
One of the few signs I saw still bolted to a tree. Most signs, because of the growth of the tree over the years, had been pushed off the carriage bolts!!
Nearing "Last Camp" I was surprised to still see snow on a north facing slope!
It took me six tries to get my line over a tree branch to hang up my food bags at "Last Camp".
Food safe, time to set up camp. My Gossamer Gear "The One" tent. I like it!
Several small streams passes through "Last Camp" so I could top off my water situation.
I had my "Moleskin" and colored pencils along.
Lush wetland and an old snag.
Lots of what my brother and I always called "Bear Hair" on this tree.
Day two, "Kingsley Lake".
Lots of dragonflies at "Kingsley Lake". This one I think is a "Common White Tail".
A small cook fire for my morning tea and oatmeal. The seating pad is the back pad from my Gossamer Gear "Mariposa Plus" backpack. Very handy.
I used my homemade Fancy Feast Cat Food Can alcohol stove with aluminum wind shield about fifty percent of the time.
My every morning Chicadee. See him? Body turned one way, head the other! Hard to photograph!
Over another pass. Only 6,800 but I'm a happy guy!
Daily water collection with my "Katadyn" water filter pump. I carried two 600 ml water bottles plus a 2.5 liter Platypus flex bag; seen in the foreground.
Day 3 and 4, "Minnie Lake".
I had a refreshing dip in the lake but it was easy to stir up the bottom sediment.
The bears pulled the bark off of standing dead trees up to the height of six feet!
It was hard to stay up until dark!! 9:00 PM !!
"Pale Swallowtail" on Penny Royal.
Again, I don't know the flower but they sure were ORANGE!
Heading to "Johnson Headquarters" I entered the burned zone from the 2008 lightening strike fires.
I saw these everywhere but this was one of the larger ones, four inches not counting the tail.
Crossing a dry creek on a big log!!
My "Snow Peak" titanium pot/cup with "Microbites" spoon/fork/knife/spatula my sister bought for me for my birthday!!
I love listening to the sound of a burbling creek while pumping water into my containers! So basic and real.
There are some amazing monarchs still living in the woods in spite of logging and lightening.
Entering another burned area.
Another sign squeezed off the tree by the expanding bark. "PacerPoles" on the right. I really like my PacerPoles. My "Crocs" on the left. Perfect, after hiking, shoes.
Looking down to see if I'm looking back at me!
Lack of vegetation improves cell phone reception!! "Hi Lolli!"
"Johnson Headquarters" must have been in the distance past. Nothing left but a few artifacts. I arranged them for this photo, then scattered them again. Years past I would have brought this stuff home but I have finally realized I have enough stuff. I'm tickled to know this stuff is still at "Johnson Headquarters".
Axe head and an Bayers Aspirin Company bottle. The words molded in the glass.
Ridge top lightening strike area.
Pretty sad but part of a cycle that has been going on for centuries in healthy forests.
Walking through burned areas I would loose the trail or get misled by a firebreak. My GPS helped me discover which direction I should head to regain the trail!
Flowers seem to be the first to return.
Day five. Camping at the edge of a burned area.
Yep! That's the way home! Two more days and I should be back at "Green Springs".
Like my birding friend Suzanne say's, "The're watching you!".
My medium length "NeoAir" air mattress. Light, compact and comfortable! So far. So good!
Making hot water for tea and oatmeal.
An unnamed lake along the "French Trail".
A "riot" of flowers in the meadow beside the unnamed lake.
The burned area stopped just north of the unnamed lake.
"Rattlesnake Creek". What a nice surprise. A very beautiful little creek which happened to be "ponded up" in this one area.
Oh Man! What a Leopard Lilly! Perfect!
Small falls but big noise in the silent wilderness!
Doggies underwater! Ahhhhh!
A lot of up and down between two streams named "Rattlesnake Creek".
Time for a little break with the backpack off!
Another break and water fill-up at the second Rattlesnake Creek crossing.
Then up and up through meadows.
Hey! "Jeffrey Shooting Star"!
Day six. Found this spot towards the southern end of the French Trail. Obviously a hunting camp but works for me. Fire pit and a place to hang my food and wash.
Some kind of onion going to seed. They sure smelled oniony!
As the sun went down the lighting just got better and better.
Day seven. Up and at 'em and heading for Green Springs.
Seven days on this hike and these are the first people I have seen. Yeah, those folks up there!!
But my little buddies are everywhere!
Small flowers with my hand for comparison.
A whole lot of "up" at the south end of the French Trail to get to the Summit Trail!!
But I'm getting view again!
Fritillaries but, which one? :-)
To the west it looks like the Marine Layer is in!!
Do I look like I know what I'm doing? I must admit I have more confidence than when I started six days ago!
The "Summit Trail" south.
Cell phone coverage again.
"Yo Bro, I'm almost out of the wilderness!"
Winding down to "Green Springs".
I walked a total of less than 20 miles but quite a bit of up and down. Here is the route traveled on my GPS. The red "Push-Pins" are way marks I added for reference along the way.
Old faithful, my "Mothership" waited for me! 99 degrees inside when I arrived.
117 miles back to Fort Bragg! What a trip! Excellent! Nobody here!!