I kept dreaming of Francis’s cabin. I was disappointed that I’d quit my trek before I gotten to the cabin so I had to try again.
This time I stopped at the ranger’s station and spent a few minutes talking to the ranger on duty. Turns out I was on the right trail to get to Francis’s cabin. I’d been on a service road that winds eventually to the cabin but goes through deep snow.
To get to her cabin you have to take the Staunton Ranch Trail that basically takes the long way around to get to the cabin. It winds around against the base of Staunton Cliffs and if you weren’t looking for it, you’d walk right past it. In fact you have to go “off trail” to get to the cabin now surrounded by a makeshift fence with boarded up windows and doors.
Staunton Trail is about 2 miles to the cabin and goes farther on up and meets up with the more serious trails. The four-mile trip was muddy and icy and I should have had my Yaktrax with me. It was slow going.
I only saw one other person on the trail during my two-hour hike.
I made the trip and got to see what I wanted. I still want to see Elk Falls and maybe even get to the top of Lions Head. That will take some training on my part; the trails are labeled “extreme.”
I’m glad I made the trip and stuck with the sloppy trail. It’s weird being out there alone. All alone on the trail. I still didn’t see any wildlife or hear any birds.
I did notice that a wildfire went through Staunton at some point. There’re burnt stumps and trees in a mile-wide swath along Staunton Ranch Trail. I wonder if it’s the same one that went through my property sometime in the late 1970s.
I’m not done with Staunton – I have more trails to cover but the ranger told me that many of them are impassable this time of year. A bike trip might even be fun but hey, you have to have a bike for that.