Bunchgrass to Steam Mill, 19 September, 2021
Prepared for a cool wet day, eight Cache Hikers met and carpooled to the old Bunchgrass trailhead; Dave W, Jane, Dave P, Teresa, Joan, Ophelia, Kamren and Dan (leader). We started hiking at 8:45 a.m.
We followed the new alignment of the Bunchgrass trail which added distance to our hike but we enjoyed the more gentle grade. The weather was warm and sunny. We noted the confusion of trails in this area, some cow trails, some informal. Houndstongue was common.
The group stopped for "first lunch" at about 11:30, then continued on to the White Pine drainage under increasingly cool and windy conditions. After "second lunch" the group split, some going back the way we came (Teresa, Dave W and Jane) and the others (Dave P, Ophelia, Kamren, Joan, and Dan) hiked on as originally planned.
The "onward group" hiked a short ways, crossed the creek and came to the sign for Shorty's cutoff. The sun came out for our climb over the ridge to Steam Mill basin on which we stopped to photograph the splendid views of upper White Pine creek. Mount Gog and Magog stood to the west. The rain started as we descended into Steam Mill.
We found two lost hikers at the historic boiler (a remnant of past logging activity) and steered them in the right direction. It was a wet slog down into Franklin Basin and the Steam Mill trailhead, the end of our hike of nearly 12 miles. After a short wait the other hikers came to pick us up for the ride back to Logan. .
Thanks to Dan for the narrative, photos and GPS data, and Jane, Dave P., Ophelia and Dave W. for photos.