Carly picked me up in the van from the airport from my latest trip to SoCal for work. We headed east toward Evanston and due to the timing of my flight we stopped to sleep at the rest area in Evanston. Saturday morning we kept going to Wild Iris for some pocket pulling. Our plans however were spoiled. As we turned onto Limestone Mountain Rd we saw that the mormon cricket swarm we’d heard about online had yet to subside. While the crickets are harmless they are disgustingly large (3″ long), very active, and everywhere. We opted to bail on climbing and found a trailhead in the Winds that we could do some running from. There’s no cragging in the Winds I’m aware of, certainly not for climbers who only have a set of quickdraws as we did.
We found that Little Sandy Trailhead south of the more popular Big Sandy Trailhead could offer two main trails to run on for our weekend. Aside from the last 1.5 miles of road it was pretty easy going as far as the approach. The last bit was kind of washed out and rocky in spots but fine over all.
The Continental Divide Trail runs through this trailhead as well as one other major trail heading into the Winds. For Saturday since we didn’t get there until 2pm we decided on a shorter ~6 mile out and back to a pond. Between the hot temps and having been at sea level for the previous 5 days then up to 9,000 ft in less than 24 hours, I wasn’t doing any PR’s. Despite that the views from the overlook down to the lake were nice.
Sunday we headed out on the other trail towards Sweetwater Gap. This one was longer but only 1500 ft of elevation gain over the 6.4 miles (one-way). This trail was more aesthetic. We went along a nice stream, in and out the forest. For the most part the trail had been cleared of the significant deadfall in certain areas. As we got farther up the valley we went along green grassy meadows. We crested the gap at a large alpine meadow. The wind wasn’t quite strong enough to keep the mosquitos at bay so we didn’t stay too long. On the way back we did get rained on a bit from a passing shower, but nothing too bad. All in all we made a pretty good weekend out of it.