Hiking Pinnacles and Mt. Emory, Exploring Castolon

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GPS elevation profile

The official elevation profile

GPS track of our hike

Sunday morning, bright and early, we shouldered our packs and headed up the Pinnacles Trail to the backcountry sites at P1-3. We had reserved P2 and found it charming. Such a relief to take off the packs! We dropped them there and continued up the mountain. Along the way, we saw a bear on the trail, a yearling. It was exciting, but he looked skinny and lonely to us.

Ronna, Nathan, Mark, and I took the Emory turnoff and hiked to the top of the peak. It was amazing up there, and for some reason it was covered in hundreds of ladybugs! Not what I expected to see at 7500 ft!

After Emory, I hiked down Boot Canyon for a little while, enjoying the greenery and the full creekbed. Big Bend is very different during its wettest month and I really enjoyed the difference.

I met up with everyone back at P2 for a late lunch. We scrambled around the campsite for a while, had a light dinner, and watched the sun set slowly over the Window. We were so tired, the sleeping bags felt great.

We settled down to our dreams, listening to the wind in the trees. One by one we dropped off to sleep, shoulder to shoulder and safe. Unfortunately, our adventures were not over for this day! First one drop fell from the sky, then another, and another, and before we knew it, it was pouring down rain on us! We scrambled to get our tarps and rain covers, but alas, did not have enough to go around. We all get wet, some more than others, and Nathan and I finally gave up trying to sleep and spent the rest of the night leaning against a rock, talking and trying to doze. We were so tired the next morning, but we helped each other pack up and get off the mountain. Tom and his family met us partway up the trail and we watched a family of deer romp and play in the wet meadows. They certainly enjoyed the cooler weather and the fresh post-rain air. I've never seen deer play like that, it was wonderful and it made losing a night's sleep worth every minute!

The next day, we drove to Castolon for a picnic and some ice cream. It was a relaxing day after our night of not sleeping. The desert was so wonderful this trip, so full of water and flowers. Every few miles in the car, someone would yell "Stop!" and we'd all pile out to take yet another picture of a desert blossom.

We also found the cemetary at Castolon which, for some reason, I had never seen. It's not particularly tricky to find, but I was happy to be able to cross that one off my list.

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