It’s that time of year again, time for smoked turkeys from Mr. P’s. Each turkey is stuffed with a whole pineapple to keep it extra moist and juicy, the skin is rubbed with a garlic, salt and pepper blend, and each turkey is injected with a hard apple cider blend. Turkeys are smoked for about an hour a pound, and we have birds from 10 to 26 pounds available. Side dishes, salads, chipotle cranberry relish, and a variety of gluten-free desserts and treats are also available. The order deadline this year is Sunday, November 24 so order yours today!
What a spectacular day! Jen, Jenny, Steve, and I started out at the AMR gate @ 7 with a plan for Sawteeth (which I needed) and as much of the lower GR as we were up to. None of us had hiked together before, and Jenny & Steve hadn’t done any High Peaks prior to this hike. We got to know each other a bit on the Lake Road walk in to the dam, with Jen & Steve setting a good pace.
We hit the Weld trail about 8:30 and started up. Trails were dry and in decent shape, and we made the Sawteeth summit by 11:30. We lingered on the summit, taking in the sun and views. We met a solo hiker on the summit who took a group shot for us, and was pushing on to Gothics as well. We discussed the rest of the plan as we looked out at Pyramid & Gothics. We agreed to push on to Gothics, but I think we all knew that all five would be over the top for our group.
The views from Pyramid were stunning, so we took a few minutes to soak them in before heading on to Gothics. The drop into the col wasn’t bad, and soon enough we were on the open ledges on the shoulder, working our way to the summit by 2:30. We were rewarded with even more breathtaking views and brilliant sunshine. We lingered for about 45 minutes, relaxing in the sun, and decided we were all satisfied and it was time to head down and out.
We met a solo hiker on Gothics who had come up the way we were heading down, and he was thinking of heading over to Pyramid and down the Weld trail, the way we came in. He had already told me how he got turned around on the way up and had started up Noonmark, turning around a mile or so in to get back on track. He set out before we left the summit, and we didn’t expect to see him again. About halfway down (prior to all the ladders) he caught up to and passed us, stopping to say he got turned around on the way to Pyramid and ended up going down the cables on the range trail and ended up going up part of Basin before he realized he was off course. He had turned around and came back over Gothics to go down the way he came in.
After passing us, he came back and found us again where we had stopped for a break. It was now starting to get dark, and he seemed a little flustered, saying the trail didn’t look familiar. We consulted the map and assured him we were on the right trail out, so he set off ahead of us again. We assured him we’d be right behind him. We didn’t see him again, but were happy to see that he had signed out.
The trail down from Gothics was long and steep in spots. Beaver Meadow Falls was great pick-me-up, as we hit it just before dark. What a beautiful spot.
We slogged out the Lake Road in headlamps without much conversation, getting back to the car about 8:30, exhausted but happy with a spectacular day in the mountains.
After a long summer I finally got back out for a hike Wednesday & Thursday to do the Dix range. The trails were wet with the rain on Tuesday, but nothing terrible. The herd paths are all in good shape, very easy to follow, even in the dark.
I dropped my pack at Slide Brook by 8:30 where the three occupants were just getting up. Those were the last people I’d see until Thursday on Hough.
Up the Slide Brook HP, I ended up taking the left fork at the top of the slide at the last minute, which made for a slow whack to the ridge trail. Following the trail back off the summit, I ended up going back down to the top of the right fork, even though I know I was losing too much elevation. After a big d’oh and a head slap I turned around and went back over the summit and on to South Dix. Views were great from South and I spent a few minutes enjoying them. On to East, a little more time on a sunny summit, and it was time to head back.
I got back to the south fork of the Lillian Brook HP and headed down as the light started to fade. It was after sunset by the time I got back to the marked trail, so I stopped to pump some water and get out my headlamp. I made it back to the lean-to after 9, made some dinner and crashed.
Thursday morning I was up at first light and was packed up and on the trail before 8. Back up the Lillian Brook HP, this time the north fork. Made Hough by noon and relaxed in the sun for a bit. As I was getting ready to leave, a couple arrived on the summit. They didn’t linger, and we left the summit together. I think they were doing all 5.
Over the ridge to Dix there were nice views on the ledges along the way, but I was watching thunderstorms building. By the time I made Dix summit I could see it raining over Elk Lake and moving towards me. I was looking forward to having a snacks and time to relax on the summit, but the thunderstorms chased me off within 15 minutes of getting there. I had planned on coming down Hunters Pass, but reassessed that plan with the storm blowing in. I thought going back over the Beckhorn would leave me more exposed, so I headed down the other side into Hunters Pass as planned. Definitely some steep sections coming down, and with the clouds moving in I didn’t get many views.
Once I got down into the pass, a good storm blew through, but I’d been sweating like a fat guy for two days, so it felt kinda nice . I trudged on to Lillian Brook HP intersection where I refueled and got more water, and got my headlamp out. I’d be hiking this section in the dark again. I got to the lean-to by 8:30 to grab my gear, then the dark death march out to the car. Made the trail head by 11 and into cell range by 11:20 so I could call Shelby to tell her I was out. I told her not to worry or call the rangers before midnight, I cut than one a little close.
To all the Dads out there, we found this for you:
Whether you’re grilling chicken, fish, veggies or meat
when you light up the smoker, we can’t wait to eat.
And like your yummy barbecue is always a treat
as our Dad you’re the tops and you just can’t be beat!
by Gabbie Glick
(We took the creative liberty to change “smoker” from the original word “coals.” Same principal.)