We always have a plan, and we always have a back-up plan if the first plan falls through. That doesn't mean everything goes according to plan, and Wells Ridge was one of those foiled plans.
Coming from Hay Flat, we passed Miller Creek, intending to take Wells Ridge out to the northern end and come back to Hay Flat on Miller Creek. That way, we'd see all of Hay Flat. It was a great plan.
We made our way through cows at the start, and then headed off across the wide, open park. It was very scenic, with puffy clouds in a blue sky. Everything was perfect.
When we got into the trees, we could rarely see very far. It seemed like half of the aspen trees had old graffiti on them, which was a bit sad. We could see the Wells Ridge a couple of times through the trees, but there was never a good view of it. We started heading down what we knew was going to be a steep hill. It looked like it was probably going to be a blast, so we were looking forward to it.
Mike was leading the way, and he spotted a rusted, metal object turning the fairly wide trail into a skinny one. We all stopped, got out, and realized that was as far as we were going.
Matt walked down the trail on the other side for a distance, and he said it was steep and narrow. We wondered why we weren't allowed to go any farther, and later in the day we talked about the trail with some people on ATVs. Apparently there are two, huge hills on narrow tracks that would be difficult or impossible for full-sized vehicles, so that was that.
We were turning around to head back when we realized it was a decent place for lunch. So, we stopped again and broke out the chairs. There really wasn't a view from there of anything but trees, but it was still a good lunch.
It was a good thing we had that lunch delay. On the way back out, we saw 31 elk running in a single-file line at top speed across Bar HL Park. There was a big one bringing up the rear, and they were in a huge hurry. We were able to watch them for a long time, and it was really cool.
When we got back to Hay Flat, we headed over to Miller Creek. We really had our fingers crossed, hoping it would take us all the way out instead of dead-ending for us, too.