"Two roads diverged in a yellow wood... And sorry I could not travel both. I took the one less traveled by. And that has made all the difference." --Robert Frost

Saturday, March 31, 2018

The Group Hike at Oak Creek Canyon, Nevada

Pahrump, Nevada
Wineridge RV Resort

Saturday would be our last day with these wonderful RV friends at the rally.  I volunteered to put together a hike for about 25 people.  Glenda gave me a great suggestion of Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area and it turned out to be a great idea!  There were several hikes to choose from.  It needed to be fairly easy and not too long to accommodate all levels of hiking experience.
The road into the park offers some fantastic views.  It is just outside of Las Vegas. There is an entrance fee of $15 but Curt had an American the Beautiful Pass which took care of that.  Apparently this park is very popular among cyclists.  There were so many that we actually thought they were having an organized race or something.  The Entrance lines were so long and there were so many bikes that some of the group (we all drove separate) had a hard time figuring out what was going on.  Some decided that they'd rather not wait in the long lines.  Some just drove the scenic loop drive and some returned to the RV park.
The lines actually moved very fast and the drive was gorgeous.  We ended up being the second ones to get to the trailhead parking but we almost missed the turn.  If that had happened on the one-way road, we'd have had to enter all over and drive the loop again.  I yelled out "turn!" and Curt hit the brakes and made a crazy turn onto the dirt road.  Whew, that was close.
We waited for about 15 minutes to see just how many would be doing the hike.  Looks like we had 17.  Good number.  I chose this hike as it was the least popular trail (so there would be less people on it) and since it was a warm day, I hoped there would be some shade once we got into the canyon as the rest of the trail is in the sun.
The colors were fantastic.  We're off to a great start!
We'd be hiking Oak Creek Canyon.  The hike was described "a delightful hike that leads into one of the narrow canyons that slices into the Red Rocks of the Wilson Cliffs. This hike has two parts: an official trail and a scramble up the canyon. The official trail makes for a good, easy hike that leads to the mouth of the canyon in about 1.1 miles with an elevation gain of less than 300 ft.  From there the route follows poorly defined use-trails and the boulder-choked wash up the canyon."  Some were concerned about this part: "The hike is a moderately strenuous scramble up the canyon that requires climbing over and around boulders. Be careful not to fall and hurt yourself."  Seems some had heard I had a nick-name of the Hiking Nazi and were a little afraid.  I assured them it was all lies, and the hike was rated as easy.  We'd all be fine ;-)
And off we head into the canyon.

See?  Everyone is smiling and having fun!
Of course Steve and Curt found there were some geocaches along the trail and they couldn't resist.
Everyone else was curious to find out what Geocaching was so they got a crash course.
Wow, the colors in this park and this canyon in particular are stunning!
The rocky trail.

Keep going, we're getting closer.
The cactus were just about to start blooming.
Mark and Patty.

Some strange growth on this Cholla cactus.
Look, we found another geocache!
The red here was, so, RED!

We enter the canyon and I scout ahead to find a lunch spot and make sure the trail isn't too steep as we drop down into a dry creekbed for some shade.  The nice breeze we had earlier is quiet now.
Kelly, Queen of the rocks.
Cute, little poochy was glad to find some shade too and get a nice drink.
There wasn't much shade but we all found a nice, cool spot to rest and eat.

Hi Bill!
Steve and Curt showing their Buddy Tats!
If Steve and I were alone, we'd have done some boulder hopping along the riverbed or further up the canyon.  But it was getting much warmer and I needed to make sure everyone got back.
Colorful river rocks.
After a nice break and a little exploring we head back up the trail.
Heading back out of the canyon.

 A moth nest with lots of squirming caterpillars inside.
And here is our group!  Except one who left before we took the picture.  See, everyone made it back in one piece.  :-) 

We all drove back and got cleaned up for the final dinner.  It was catered with some of the best BBQ and delicious deserts.  There was a last minute change to our plans and we needed to leave just after the dinner as we had a long drive to split up to get back in Placerville, CA for Easter.
Trace and Lee
Jo and Ben
Linda and Steven
Bill and Kelly
Pam and Red
Harry and Vicky
Pat and Bridget
Dave and Dianne
Mark and Patty
Karen and Bob
Glenda and Curt
Liz and Mike
 Leesa, Laura, Bruce and Gary
I didn't get pictures of everyone, but it was a great week and we really had fun hanging out with old friends and meeting new ones.  So good to all be together in one place.  We will be criss-crossing with Curt & Glenda in California and in Oregon and we will also be spending some time with Lee and Trace in Oregon where they will be workcamping. 
Looking forward to seeing the rest of you down the road!  Safe Travels everyone!