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Council Bluff - N Bell Mt - Hwy A - Council Bluff (Bust)

PostPosted: Mon Mar 27, 2017 7:59 pm
by klanning
This last weekend I did my first overnight hiking trip ever. The plan was to do the North Bell Mountain to Council Bluff boat ramp hike, but because I'm an idiot I decided to make it a loop instead of a point to point. I thought we could start at Council Bluff boat ramp, walk around the Council Bluff lake, and then down the road to the North Bell Mountain trailhead. In fact, you can do that, but it's probably 11 miles or so, and that's before you start the "real hike". We started at Council Bluff at 12:45 on Friday and got to the North Bell Mountain trailhead at five. We hiked two more hours and camped on top of Bell Mountain.

As you may or may not know it poured down rain late Friday, early Saturday, which was fine. We were dry enough in the tent. However, when we started out in the morning we found the trails to be streams. Everything was wet. Again, that was fine because it wasn't cold and I wasn't worried about finding water.

We had a pretty good hike down to the Hwy A trailhead, at some lunch, and then decided to continue on across Ottering "Creek". Now, even the planner I printed off the OT website said the Ottering crossing could be treacherous, but with all the rain it looked positively uncrossable. I wasn't ready to put my son's life at risk trying to cross what had become a very fast flowing river. His mom would have never forgiven me.

At this point, because of all the miles put in the previous day, we were pretty spent anyways, and decided to call it quits. But we still had a problem, we had to get back to the truck at Council Bluff, over 10 miles away by road. So, for the first time in my life, again, I hitchhiked. I'm happy to say I'm at 100% in hitchhiking attempts. I stuck my thumb out and ol' boy in a pickup pulled over. He took us all the way back to the boat ramp. I gave him 20 bucks for his efforts.

So I'm bummed we didn't complete the planned hike, but given the circumstances we did well enough for a couple of noobs. I'll certainly plan better next time and pay more attention to the milage for any bonus sections we do. We had a lot of fun and I can't wait to go back.

Re: Council Bluff - N Bell Mt - Hwy A - Council Bluff (Bust)

PostPosted: Tue Mar 28, 2017 9:45 am
by mike
Sounds like you had a memorable trip!

Re: Council Bluff - N Bell Mt - Hwy A - Council Bluff (Bust)

PostPosted: Tue Mar 28, 2017 12:10 pm
by Jim
On your southbound trip an option would have been an unmarked route up over Johnson Mountain and down the forest road, it would put you just west under a mile from Hwy A/Hwy 32.

Good call on the bail at Ottery. That creek can be sketchy without rain. It's typically knee deep and slippery rocks.

Glad you were successful with the hitchhiking. Most folks are friendly in those parts...as long as you are not on their land. ...

Maybe someday we can create a loop connector trail between Middle Fork and Trace Creek at Hwy A.