|Hike Name:||Nogal - White Mountain Wilderness|
|Trip Date:||May 13, 1995|
|Duration:||2 days, 12 hours|
|Trip Weather:||Partly Cloudy|
|Trip Temperature:||High: 71-80, Low: 41-50 degrees Fahrenheit|
|Trip Report:||Day 1: Parked the truck at Nogal right on time, which is unusual for me. This will be a solo hike, so I brought along a little more gear than normal, and it is making me a little heavy. Had a cold burrito and shouldered my pack around 8:00. The first bit of this trip is along the road, but there is nowhere to park at the trailhead, so there you go. There are a ton of mines on this hike, and the first ones start almost immediately. I'm so busy looking at mine relics that I miss both my trail marker and a no tresspassing sign. Sucks to be me! By the time I realize what I've done, I'm 2 or 3 miles off course and walking through somebody's front yard. (There are several pieces of private property up here, mostly old mine areas that people now have summer cabins on) I hopped into the brush and headed West, trying to pick up the trail that the GPS says will be there. Along the way I find the Helen Rae mine, which is the most magnificent thing I have ever seen while hiking. Rolls Royce steam pumps, several buildings standing in excellent condition, and a processing structure that must cover an acre. Beautiful;!!!!! I took the opportunity to fill my water from the flooded mine. I finally pick up the trail and motor along. Soon I'm headed South toward the ghost town of Parsons, and run out of steam around 4:00. I set up camp and have some chow, including coffee and Bailey's, and explore a few mine shafts before a light sprinkle drives me into the tent. Although I planned on just a few minutes, actually I fell asleep and crashed until morning.
Day 2: I made good time on day one, so I'm loafing a little on the second morning. After a lesisurely breakfast, I head down toward Parsons. One problem: it isn't there anymore. My GPS confirms my location, and after closer examination, I realize that Parsons burned down during the fire some years before. One more ghost town lost to history! I'm disappointed, but its time to move on, and I head southwest to pick up my next trail. Found several more flooded mine shafts, so I'm able to top off my water. Dusk finds me only 3 miles from where I'm getting picked up, so I park it and set camp. About 9:00 a herd of elk move right across my camp, scaring the hell out of me, which then scared them! Finally got to sleep a litle after 10:00
Day 3: Got up late and lazy. Had breakfast and headed back toward Parsons to get picked up. Stopped at Turkey Creek Spring and watered up and had lunch. Poked through a few more mines on the way to the trailhead, and arrived in plenty of time. Great hike, and plenty of solitude, since I didn't see another living soul the entire time.