Mill Creek is always a good time. The trees provide good shade from the pounding sun and the cabin is always a good stop.
Doing Bill Moore Lake after Red Elephant Hill before heading on to Mill Creek was a new twist. Why we did it this way is a mystery. It could be that Dave was a little disoriented since it had been a couple of years since he had first run these trails, and as the leader he was a bit confused. It could be that we wanted to get up to higher ground to escape the heat. It could also be divine intervention. No one really knew for sure, and no one really cared. We were just glad to be out enjoying all that mother nature had to offer us this hot and hazy day.
After taking yet another wrong turn, we finally got on the Mill Creek trail. Cruising along in the cover of the green trees was just gorgeous. It seemed that the area had seen plenty of rain.
Stopping at the "Empire Hilton" cabin is always a good diversion, and this trip proved to be no different. Many people in the group had not been to this cabin. Those of us that had not been there before wandered around exploring the cabin, while others stood and chatted about nothing in particular.
Once back on the trail, we crossed a couple of streams. These streams, usually just a trickle this time of year, were still roaring with water and bugs. We took a couple of quick pictures and then we were off.
Only one spot proved to be tricky for the group. A descent down a small slope with well-positioned rocks makes for a tippy experience. The TJs and the XJ leaned over quite a bit, but they dropped down without any incident. The CJs, Blazer and Bronco II had a rougher time. A great rear wheel stand by Walt had the back half of the group chatting up a storm over the CBs, making the front half jealous.
Gary brought up the rear and watched Daniel descend the rocks and thought for sure that he had tipped onto his side, even pronouncing this over the CB. This gave the rest of us pause until Daniel explained that he was just fine and had not tipped over all the way. It just looked like he had.
A brief stop at the now-buried mine gave everyone a chance to catch up. This also gave us a chance to stretch our legs and gave us a nice respite before heading down to Empire and the ice cream stand that Dave has promised.
One last diversion was a water and mud hole that proved to be a good time. Dave got some great pictures of everyone going through it.
After getting to Empire we found that the heat was waiting for us. This could not deter us from our destiny with sweet mint chocolate chip. "What do you mean you are out of mint chocolate chip?" was our collective response to the clerk's head shaking. I guess we were a little late to our destiny as they were out of that flavor. It didn't matter, because any ice cream is a welcome relief from the heat that was once again weighing down on us after a great four-wheeling trip in the mountains.
Reports from Other Days: 4
Use the arrows or dots to flip through the previews of the other reports for Mill Creek. Click one of them to read more and see all of the photos from that day.