Sunday, July 21, 2019

2019 NUT Day 1: Lemolo Segment

This was going to be an adventure! We had set up this trip with two of our friends, and a third joined us for the first day/night of our trek. We were excited to get underway. From the "brochure" we estimated that we would be hiking about 5.5 miles, as campground appeared to be about 3/4 mile from the White Mule Trailhead.

So we set off in our four cars, dropping three of them off along the way (Calf Creek trailhead, Tokatee Falls trailhead, Bunker Hill campground), and made our way up to Kelsay Valley to begin our adventure. Fortunately, we hadn't planned to do a long hike the first day. The journey from our home to the trailhead is typically about three hours, but with all of the car shuffling, packing and repacking, eating lunch and so forth, it took us about five and a half hours to set foot on the trail.

The trailhead is right next to a horse camp and we met the nicest three ladies who were the horse camp hosts. They welcomed us and gave us a few tips on the area. The section of the trail that we were doing was the Lemolo Segment, described as 6.3 miles on the "brochure" and adjacent to the Bunker Hill campground. 

Since we had dropped off a car at Bunker Hill, we knew we would eventually have to be on a road to access the campground. Using the Gaia GPS app, we knew that we were close to the camp; as soon as we saw that the terrain eased up, we took the opportunity to bushwhack our way about 100 yards out to the road, which led us to camp. 

We were very happy to be camped at the lake as it gave us a good opportunity to get cleaned up and enjoy some great views.

Total mileage for the day: 6.4 miles

Campground: Bunker Hill ($10), there are only five sites, one porta pot, and no water. We stayed in site #2 and filtered water from the lake. There was a LOT of dust.

Wildlife: Nothing on the trail, but we did have six deer visit us in the middle of the night.

Trail conditions: Very dusty and horseworn.

Terrain: Fairly easy hiking. The beginning of it was more meadow like with views of the meandering river. The trail did take us up into the forest before we dropped down to camp.

Scenery: Grasses, wildflowers.

Surprises: Our mileage (6.4 miles) was longer than expected. The "brochure" indicated that the whole segment was 6.3 miles and our campsite was a mile and a half east of the White Mule trailhead.

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