Today was a planned hike to Box Canyon near Florence. It’s a hike we’ve been on before, but as we’re busy on Friday we decided to head out today with the club. The trip to the trailhead is quite an excursion as we first have to drive 30 minutes or so to Florence, and then we’re on a dirt road for another 40 minutes or so. Needless to say the nice clean truck that I worked on last week after the mud bath trip to Devil’s Canyon no longer is nice and clean.
When the 34 of us arrived at the trailhead we were parked in various spots alongside of a very active Jeep and ATV road. The first portion of our hike followed the road which we could have easily driven on but Box Canyon is only a one way route so we needed to deal with the road up into the hills before walking back down the canyon. At least that was the plan.
When we arrived at the trailhead I discovered that we didn’t have any radios with us this trip, or a hike leader for that matter. The fella who was supposed to lead the hike and bring the radios had not yet returned from his previous day’s hike as 5 of our more experienced club hikers got lost exploring a new area. And by lost I mean really lost, so much so that they had to stay out in the bush overnight. I haven’t spoken to any of them yet, but I’m sure they’ll have some interesting stories for our Monday morning meeting.
Normally the VHF radios we use on our hikes remain quiet for the entire length of our hike and that’s a good thing. They are only used to let others in our widely spaced group know of any changes or problems along the trail. We really didn’t think that their absence this particular day would be a problem. We were wrong.
As per usual we were at the rear end of the pack and not long after we passed through this narrow section of the canyon we reached a fork in the road. Kynda who was with us was convinced that we needed to turn right at this fork, but we could see that several of our fellow hikers had proceeded left and so we all followed them. Unfortunately Kynda was right and they were all wrong. Oh well, the blind were leading the blind this time.
Kynda started to get concerned that the more experienced hikers at the head of our group had gone a different way from the rest of us. With no radios we couldn’t contact them to find out.We ended up walking about 2 miles up the jeep trail and at one point I ran ahead to try and catch up to the main group to see who was and wasn’t there. I found them (all of them) talking to a bunch of jeepers looking for directions. I don’t know how that conversation went but as soon as the rest of the trailing hikers arrived we headed further on up the road. At one point I asked if anyone had a headcount for our group. It seemed that we were missing 5 hikers, but that didn’t convince anyone to hang around and see if missing hikers would catch up. After another 20 minutes or so we ran into another couple of ATV riders who had some sage advice for us – We were on the Wrong Road, maybe we should turn around. Why we weren’t all listening to Kynda for the last hour or so is beyond me, but I do know we all owe her an apology.
One of the clues we had that we were in the wrong place was that no one had ever seen this derelict cabin before.
We did get a chance to see Dennis play the role of Cow Whisperer on the trek back. I don’t know how smart that was, as those horns look impressive. He must know more about cows than I do.
When we got back to the fork in the road about half of the group (including Kynda) decided they really wanted to hike Box Canyon, while we decided we didn’t have enough food along with us for another couple of hours of hiking. We ended up adding another hiker to our truckload and headed into Florence for a great meal at at Greek restaurant before heading home. It was a frustrating and dusty day, but we did get a 6 mile road hike in. Later on we talked to Kelly and Kathy who finished the hike and they had a great time and only got back to the trucks about 90 minutes after we did. This means the rest of the hike wasn’t as long as estimated. Oh well, maybe we can do it some other time.
The rest of our week has been busy as usual. Sylvia played a pickleball round robin on Monday and did well. I was playing softball at the same time and we won both games with the last one being decided in our final at bat which was rather exciting. If any of you are paying attention you may have noticed that I never reported our softball results last week. Yep, we lost both of those games so this week was a nice change.
Tuesday it was my turn to play in the Men’s pickleball round robin for the first time and I ended up 11th out of 14 participants, about where I figured I’d end up in this crowd. I did win 3 games out of the 6 I played, but was smoked in the other 3 which didn’t do my score any good. Today was hiking (sort of) and Thursday will be pickleball training and errands. On Friday we have a Softball team / Pickleball player challenge match on the pickleball courts trying to raise funds for an automatic Defibrillator we’re trying to get placed at our sports fields. When you consider the average age of the people down here I don’t think any emergency and first aid equipment we can provide would be a bad thing.
Hopefully the rest of the week will be more successful than today, but we are not quite sure if we want to continue hiking with the club as it’s turning out to be a little bit too helter skelter.