SHT – Aspen Knob to Caribou Falls State Park

SHT

Hikers: Betsy, Stephanie, Maria, Anita
Total Distance: 18 mi. for me and Steph, 25 mi. for Anita & Maria
Days: 4 days, 3 nights
Dates:
Sept 22- 25, 2016
Photos: 
Betsy’s

Thursday, 22 September
Steph and I left Maple Grove at 5pm and arrived at Crosby Manitou State Park around 9:45pm. We hiked a mile South to Aspen Knob campsite only to find that our other two camp mates were not there, even though they left much earlier than us. We set up camp and attempted a fire, but the wood was pretty wet and we couldn’t get it going for very long. By bedtime, there was still no sign of the other two girls and we had no way to contact them because of terrible cell phone signals up there. So, we hit the hay hoping that they’d either be here by morning or we’d run into them back at the parking lot at the State Park when we start our hike the next day. So instead of 3 adult women in a 4 person tent and me and the dog in my tiny “2-person” tent, it was two 6ish foot tall women and the 60lb dog in my tiny backpacking tent! It was…cozy. There was not enough space for us both to use a sleeping pad, so I let Steph use one, and I slept without one. The ground was cold, and I shivered most of the night 🙁  Heard dogs barking/howling, people’s voices, and cars from a nearby road (Blessner Lake Rd?).

Aspen Knob Campsite

Friday, 23 September
I was up early at 6:45 thanks to the pup, so I had breakfast and packed up stuff. Steph was up at 7:45 and we were back to the parking lot by 9am to find Maria and Anita waiting there in Maria’s car. They had gotten lost and taken a spur trail for 3 or so miles in the wrong direction. One of them was very upset, and one of them had the giggles! After everyone calmed down, we fit all 4 of us, plus gear and dog in my car, and headed for Temperance Road (343) Trailhead. We now decided to hike North to South instead of our original plan to go South to North. I switched out my 40° bag for the 0° bag because of the cold and we hit the trail. All of the campsites we passed in the first section of our hike looked great; Cross River, Ledge, Fredenberg. My feet were starting to hurting badly. We camped at Dyers creek campsite with a young married couple (Ashley and Alex) and a hammock-sleeper man from Houston (Dave) who had started hiking from the end of the trail and was going to Martin Road. Rain in the middle of the night, I stayed dry. Alex and Ashley got wet.

Saturday, 24 September
I woke up before everyone else. Kieran hung out in the tent by herself while I packed up. We were ready to go about 9:30am, and the rest of our camp had cleared. It was a beautiful morning with blue skies. We stopped for snacks at Sugarloaf Road Trailhead. And took a rest on a bench at Calico Creek. Steph and I split off from Maria and Anita at Caribou Falls because my feet were hurting really bad and I didn’t feel like I could go on. Steph and I took spur trail to parking lot to try and get shuttle, while they continued on trying to make it 6-7 more miles to the car. We couldn’t get the shuttle, so we set up my tent at the trailhead (is that allowed??) to wait for either Maria or shuttle next morning.

Kieran resting in the tent at Dyer’s Creek campsite, like a good girl.
Maria and Anita’s additional route