Even though the weather looked a bit iffy, five gals headed to the Hannah Gulch/Wagner Basin area for some cliff walking. Of course, before we walk the cliff we have to do some up, up, up to get to it.
We started early at 7 a.m. in hopes of avoiding the predicted afternoon sprinkles, which we ended up doing. We picked up Viki in Augusta and arrived before 9 a.m., seeing two herds of bighorn sheep ewes and yearlings on the way: no babies yet. On a side note: it was the first time Katie had taken passengers in her car. With all gals vaccinated, we felt safe riding together. The drives are so much more fun when we can carpool and talk along the way.
As we geared up, we could feel the wind just starting and wondered if we would make it to the top, but we did! Along the way, we negotiated over two small run-off streams, saw slopes of magenta douglasia and a handful of biscuitroot, and braced for the gale-force winds awaiting us at the top. The way required quite a bit of side-hilling, so Susan went even higher to avoid some of it. Due to the gusts, we didn't stay long to enjoy the sweeping views where the sun river snakes its way from the mountains to the plains, but we stopped behind some trees to grab a snack and put on more layers.
The trip down was a bit more eventful: we scared a group of rams and got tangled up in brush on the stream crossings as we ended up quite a bit lower than on the way up. We were able to find some game trails that led across the stream. Some of us waded while Cathy and Debra were able to jump across using logs and rocks. We figured the bushwhacking would bring us ticks and it did.
By the time we reached the picnic table at Wagner Basin, we discovered two of the blood suckers. By the time we arrived home, the count had risen to 10. Ick!
After the hike, we decided to play a bit of tourist and show Debra the pictographs as well as the Gibson Dam overlook. We also drove past the memorial for the Mercy Flight that went down in Hannah Gulch. It's always interesting to visit historic places.
We arrived home around 3 after dropping Viki back at her car in Augusta.