Entire Current River Section Dec. 1-3

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Entire Current River Section Dec. 1-3

Postby grandma » Sat Dec 04, 2010 5:02 pm

We dropped our vehicle off at the Powder Mill Ranger Station and were shuttled to the Hwy 60 trailhead Wednesday morning. The temperature was hanging in the low 40’s and was breezy when we hit the trail at 11 am. Our itinerary had us completing the entire section of the Current River portion of the OT by mid-day on Friday.

We pushed hard to make the mileage we needed in order to camp on the south side of the Peck wildlife management area. Pike Creek was definitely a stop to switch over into the Chaco’s, then back into boots on the other side. The water was a solid 10” deep. After Pike, the only available water was at Mint Spring. This was a very dry section when we went, despite the recent rains. We filtered at Mint and were glad we did because we encountered no other water that day. Mint Spring was at a trickle.

We made it to the south fence at Peck around 4:30 pm on Wednesday. I walked a little further onto the property to ensure that the low wire fence we had encountered was indeed the “wildlife fence” referred to in the OTA trip itinerary. It was the fence, though it is not a wildlife fence. That night we made dinner and went tentless as there was no wind at all. It was so still that night it seemed strange. The coyotes started in about 3 am and were really working their yelping variants. The mercury slipped down to 27 degrees that evening.

Thursday was our big mileage day, and by far, the most scenic. We lunched at Roger’s creek and stocked up on water before summiting Stegall Mountain. It was cloudy, but the trail up, and the summit were both photo worthy. I’m always impressed with how well signed the OT is, even to the point of hammering signage into the rocks in rocky treeless glades to augment the cairns.

We had to stop and check out Rocky Falls and we had the place to ourselves. Very cool. We kicked our boots off and drank in the scenery for about 15 minutes. It was around 2:00 when we arrived.

Klepzig Mill and the shut-ins were next as the sun sank low. I would have like to have had more light for some of our pictures of the stream there, but it wasn’t to be. The amount of detail and intricacy among the rocks and water was almost too much for the eye to simply glance at. I found myself wanting to stare.

Needing to get some more miles in, we continued on and camped at a site on the West side of Rocky Creek near mile marker 146. We stopped to make camp around 4:30 again, filtered water, got a fire going, and decided with the wind and our location at the bottom of a valley, we’d set up the tent. Temps got down to around 27 degrees that evening again, but hovered around 34 inside the tent.

Having shaken the frost off our gear and heating up some water for oatmeal and washing water, we broke camp and headed out for the last 7 miles of our trip. Hiking alongside Indian Creek was pure joy as it’s a beautiful little stream. The crossings were even more fun…nothing more than boot and rand depth. We certainly heated up on our ascent of the bluff view overlooking the Current, but it was worth it. The fields were still in frost on the other side and the sun was just starting to warm everything up.

Upon reaching the end of the Current River section, we were a little bummed to have to do so much of it via roads, but I’m still impressed overall with how intentional the vast majority of the OT is designed to avoid roads and fire roads. We had a great trip and, though a little sore, are glad to have pounded out 32 miles in 16 hours of hiking. Thanks to the OTA for all the information cataloging and trail maintenance that make these kind of trips accessible. For those that responded to my forum question about bringing a fly rod along on this section, you were dead on. There was scarce fishable water, especially this time of year.
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