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Topic: Advice on the Grand Tetons, 4-5 Day BP Trip in Early July< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 19 2012, 7:03 am  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Would like to get advice or tips for a 4-5 day trip to Grand Teton NP or surrounding NF areas.

Timeframe would be 1-15 July.   I'm in decent shape but probably would want to avoid anything requiring ice axes or crampons.

Thanks
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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 19 2012, 10:43 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

If you can have 2 days or so of flexibility I'd recommend getting a walk up permit to have options. Walkups in Grand Teton are much easier than other places. Normally Paintbrush Divide looses the ice axe requirement [need] around the tenth of July. I would not consider the wilder part of the Range North of Moran that early.

In 2011 July was kind of tough with a historically cold/snowy spring. Really didn't have Spring. Last year you probably would have been good the 3rd or 4th week of June. KEEP UP ON SNOTEL in April and May, and even June. Be prepared with various options.

My first suggestion is the COMPLETE Teton Crest from Hwy 22 to String Lake. Views are better Northbound, but Southbound is exquisite too. The Southern part of the Range is usually bypassed and I think that's a big mistake personally. If you do 5 nights a night on Avalanche Divide would be awesome.

The Bechler is an awesome trip but July is often too buggy so keep it on a list of options. I did it in July once and it was awesome. Include a night near Dunanda Falls if you go, the most exotic place in all of the Rockies I've ever found. Camping at 3 Rivers Jct. is magical with Mr. Bubbles.

There will likely be AWESOME backpacking in the Southwestern Absaroka at that time. The Gos Ventre is just as special and the southern approaches are an excellent early season option. Also in the Dubois Area is the Northeastern Winds. Unlike going in from Elkhart Park starting at Trail Lake with the Glacier Trail can get you to a really special place in just a day, Ross Lakes. From there GREAT dayhiking options.

I might try and post a few photos here but if you message me I'll give you a couple of photo links of everything I've mentioned here and more. The best thing to understand all of your options is to get the Bridger-Teton National Forest [BTNF] Map of the Jackson and Buffalo Ranger Districts and give someone like me a call when you have it. This map has GTNP and southern Yellowstone on it.

I do a whole lot of dayhiking so if you want someone for a warm up hike let know. I also have a good supply of Bearspray courtesey of several including another forum member.

John


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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 19 2012, 4:12 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(double cabin @ Nov. 19 2012, 10:43 am)
QUOTE
If you can have 2 days or so of flexibility I'd recommend getting a walk up permit to have options. Walkups in Grand Teton are much easier than other places. Normally Paintbrush Divide looses the ice axe requirement [need] around the tenth of July. I would not consider the wilder part of the Range North of Moran that early.

In 2011 July was kind of tough with a historically cold/snowy spring. Really didn't have Spring. Last year you probably would have been good the 3rd or 4th week of June. KEEP UP ON SNOTEL in April and May, and even June. Be prepared with various options.

My first suggestion is the COMPLETE Teton Crest from Hwy 22 to String Lake. Views are better Northbound, but Southbound is exquisite too. The Southern part of the Range is usually bypassed and I think that's a big mistake personally. If you do 5 nights a night on Avalanche Divide would be awesome.

The Bechler is an awesome trip but July is often too buggy so keep it on a list of options. I did it in July once and it was awesome. Include a night near Dunanda Falls if you go, the most exotic place in all of the Rockies I've ever found. Camping at 3 Rivers Jct. is magical with Mr. Bubbles.

There will likely be AWESOME backpacking in the Southwestern Absaroka at that time. The Gos Ventre is just as special and the southern approaches are an excellent early season option. Also in the Dubois Area is the Northeastern Winds. Unlike going in from Elkhart Park starting at Trail Lake with the Glacier Trail can get you to a really special place in just a day, Ross Lakes. From there GREAT dayhiking options.

I might try and post a few photos here but if you message me I'll give you a couple of photo links of everything I've mentioned here and more. The best thing to understand all of your options is to get the Bridger-Teton National Forest [BTNF] Map of the Jackson and Buffalo Ranger Districts and give someone like me a call when you have it. This map has GTNP and southern Yellowstone on it.

I do a whole lot of dayhiking so if you want someone for a warm up hike let know. I also have a good supply of Bearspray courtesey of several including another forum member.

John

Thanks John.

Really appreciate your thorough and thoughtful reply.

I need to do some map work so I can ask intelligent questions.  Will probably take you up on the offer to PM you.

Regards,
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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 19 2012, 6:41 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

The first two weeks in July are traditionally the WORST time for mosguitoes in the Greater Yelllowstone Area

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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 21 2012, 9:33 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

John
I'm thinking about doing the Teton Crest Trail in mid July and was wondering how many days to allow for the hike and any good side trips.  Will I need a shuttle or is there transportation inside the park to get around? Thanks for any help.

Alan
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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 21 2012, 10:08 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Here is the Teton Highline Trail trip from this summer I posted in another section.  It's from Yellowstone NP to Teton Pass.  Text description and a few pics.  Making a slide show eventually.

Teton Highline Trail - Complete
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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 22 2012, 5:54 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Thanks for the information.  What about transportation inside the park.  Will we need a shuttle or 2 cars?  I didn't know if they had busses that ran inside the park.  I did the Belcher Trail a couple of years ago and it was an nice trip.

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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 23 2012, 10:30 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

There are no public shuttles in Grand Teton Park but there is talk of extending the Start Bus from Jackson to the Airport. I'm guessing taxi companies will fight that off as long as they can. Alltrans does some private shuttling, and most taxi companies do as well.Not cheap at all. When you get closer to your dates ask me and I might be able to help you out or find someone that would just appreciate gas money, beer, maybe a meal. MUCH cehaper than $200 or more for a shuttle.

If you're really going to hike the "Complete" Crest, not including the Northern Section Bbobb gave us that great report on, and not one of these little abreviated hikes most people call "The" Crest, then I suggest a minimum of 4 nights if not 5 or six to do more side trips. Dayhiking Static Peak would be at the top of my list for an "off" day with Avalanche Divide and The Wall right behind it. Mica and even Grizzly Bear Lakes are good choices for stronger hikers.

Most people travel South to North because of the views, but don't discount Southbound if that proves to be most convenient in terms of permitting. My favorite camps: Phillips Pass has a nice site amidst a few knarled Spruce not far from good water. There are some sites just outside the park to consider. Death Canyon Shelf is magical. I'd spend two nights at Mirror Lake in Alaska Basin with Static Peak dayhike. IMO Sunset Lake is overrated. In the Southfork the higher in the zone the better IMO for aestheitics and bugs. KC Wins likes farther down. If you can I'd skip the Northfork and get Holly Lake. As I implied I'd be more concerned with the sites you get than the direction you take. Keep up on Snotel, but usually Paintbrush is good to go without an Ice Axe by July 10 or so.

I'd try and have a couple of warmup days to get acclimated. I love Hermitage Point for a relatively flat 10 plus mile first day hike. Then for a second day Surprise and Ampitheatre Lakes. If you are in really good shape the shorter but far steeper Lung Buster up Hanging Canyon is my favorite dayhike in the Teets.

If anyone is interested in any of the Exquisite hiking in the National Forests of the Area let me know.


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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 24 2012, 7:54 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Great information and I'll keep you in mind as we get closer to the hike.  I was looking at the map last night and it looks like you can do a loop if you take the valley trail?  Is it worth the hike on the valley trail?
I hiked the JMT last summer in 21 days so I'm not overly concerned about some long days.  Thanks so much for the information.

Alan
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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 24 2012, 2:38 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I'd go with Bbobb's route before looping an abreviated portion of the Crest with the Valley Trail. Or stay at the Climbers Ranch and do some dayhiking, overnight Surprise, spend a couple of days near Brooks Lake. LOT of stuff to do.

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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 24 2012, 10:32 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I second a South to North route. Don't care for Sunset Lake in the basin much either. I've done most their is to do South of Moran if I can be of any help. As far as side trips, I like Avalanche Canyon (Kit and Snowdrift Lakes), Static Peak, Mica Lake, etc..

PS: I would love to see some pics bbobb North of Solitude and Grizzly Bear Lake. I did sneak in and out of the area late Summer and explored Moose Basin a bit. Sorry I missed you DC.

FYI: DC is a wealth of info anywhere in the GYE! I second Hanging Canyon as a day hike or over nighter if you have the time.


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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 25 2012, 12:36 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Sunset Lake is overrated and crowded.....stay in the Basin Lakes area.  Working on a slide show and will upload all pics to photobook.

Basin Lakes:




Sunset Lake:



Pictures tell all.
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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 28 2012, 12:35 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Here is the slide show......in HD so adjust your settings

Teton Highline Trail HD

Also started a new post for it ...
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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 02 2012, 2:11 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Great slide show.  Thanks for sharing.

Alan
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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 03 2012, 12:05 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Starting either direction doesn't matter much.  We mostly did it for logistics of getting picked up at the end.  However, we were glad we were going down to Lake Solitude instead of up.....its a good pitch, loose rocks.  Besides all you have to do is turn around and look over your shoulder, which I do a lot.  Plenty of places accessing from West or East side to do loops.
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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 10 2012, 1:43 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Very nice slide show!

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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 09 2013, 11:11 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(double cabin @ Nov. 19 2012, 10:43 am)
QUOTE
If you can have 2 days or so of flexibility I'd recommend getting a walk up permit to have options. Walkups in Grand Teton are much easier than other places. Normally Paintbrush Divide looses the ice axe requirement [need] around the tenth of July. I would not consider the wilder part of the Range North of Moran that early.

In 2011 July was kind of tough with a historically cold/snowy spring. Really didn't have Spring. Last year you probably would have been good the 3rd or 4th week of June. KEEP UP ON SNOTEL in April and May, and even June. Be prepared with various options.

My first suggestion is the COMPLETE Teton Crest from Hwy 22 to String Lake. Views are better Northbound, but Southbound is exquisite too. The Southern part of the Range is usually bypassed and I think that's a big mistake personally. If you do 5 nights a night on Avalanche Divide would be awesome.

The Bechler is an awesome trip but July is often too buggy so keep it on a list of options. I did it in July once and it was awesome. Include a night near Dunanda Falls if you go, the most exotic place in all of the Rockies I've ever found. Camping at 3 Rivers Jct. is magical with Mr. Bubbles.

There will likely be AWESOME backpacking in the Southwestern Absaroka at that time. The Gos Ventre is just as special and the southern approaches are an excellent early season option. Also in the Dubois Area is the Northeastern Winds. Unlike going in from Elkhart Park starting at Trail Lake with the Glacier Trail can get you to a really special place in just a day, Ross Lakes. From there GREAT dayhiking options.

I might try and post a few photos here but if you message me I'll give you a couple of photo links of everything I've mentioned here and more. The best thing to understand all of your options is to get the Bridger-Teton National Forest [BTNF] Map of the Jackson and Buffalo Ranger Districts and give someone like me a call when you have it. This map has GTNP and southern Yellowstone on it.

I do a whole lot of dayhiking so if you want someone for a warm up hike let know. I also have a good supply of Bearspray courtesey of several including another forum member.

John

DC,

How's the snow looking this year at GTNP?  Early or late arrival of summer this year?

Thanks
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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 12 2013, 8:07 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

The forcast is warmer and rier than normal. Have had a fair amount of snow pile up in mid and upper elevations. I can't roll the dice on this for another two months. I've seen more than 50" hot the Southern Absaroka in later May not that long ago.

That aside odds are stacking up for an early season.


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PostIcon Posted on: May 22 2013, 6:38 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Got the no joy-no permit letter from Grand Teton NP for a Teton Crest trip.

Thinking my options are:

1.  Do the walk-up day before option.

2.  Plan a Teton Crest route where we sleep outside the park in the Jedidiah Smith Wilderness Area each night.
Don't think I could manage a loop with this so would have to arrange for a shuttle.

3.  Pass on Grand Teton and go to Wind River instead...I'm thinking Wind River may be more than I'm up to now (still hesitant to get into the ropes, crampons and ice axe business)

DC and others...any thoughts/advice?

Thanks
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PostIcon Posted on: May 22 2013, 10:55 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Walk up permits have never been an issue for me. I've been going twice a year for the past dozen years or so and never left the state of MI with a permit in hand. Have a blast!

Side note: DC, I'll be out the last week of July, the week after Labor Day and the week after Christmas this year. Stop avoiding me and buy me that beer you owe me.


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PostIcon Posted on: May 23 2013, 11:06 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

KC,

Maybe this is the year we finally share more trail. I have a wedding July 20th but then envision being free most of the rest of the month. Guiding an Eastern hiking club [dayhikes] in SW Absaroka first week of August.

Three,

If you message me I promise no premptive arrogant, liberal/libertarian salvos. For now let me see if I can find a few pics for you but first I'm guessing the bugs are not going to be as horrible as they can be. However we have had some good Spring rain, so that could change.

I think you should still do the Tetons, like I said with flexibility a walk up is almost always no problem in GTNP. That said lets begin with a photo of Ross Lakes from Whiskey Mt. It's 6 miles into the lakes where it is REALLY rugged. This is taken from Whiskey Mountain early July 2011. Expect a bit less snow:


pc screen shot

This is the Gros Ventre range nearing the head of Swift Creek, one of my top 5 dayhikes ever and you can go over the Divide into the head of Crystal Creek or the headwaters of the Gros Ventre. This is an amazing 2-4 night shuttle for Crystal Creek, and I bet I can do your shuttle. Early July 2007, expect a little more snow this year:


free image hosting

The Southwest Absaroka is my favorite place on Earth. I can set you up with a trip here that I'm confident will do nothing but entirely reinforce your convictions, and my friend I'm OK with that however much I can become a posterior orifice in TPA:


taking a screen shot

You have two weeks in the area? As we've said walkups in GTNP are pretty darn good. The Crest is one of this Country's great hikes:


screenshot tool

Despite below average precipitation this snotel site outside of Dubois in the Southern Absaroka shows nearly average snowpack that is going down FAST as it usually does:

http://www.wcc.nrcs.usda.gov/nwcc....TERYEAR

This snotel site in the Tetons shows much the same.

http://www.wcc.nrcs.usda.gov/nwcc....TERYEAR


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PostIcon Posted on: May 24 2013, 9:53 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

DC,

I'd look forward to meeting you...I enjoy the give and take...the older I get the more libertarian I am.

Great pics.

I've got to get some work done but will post later or PM you with my draft plan.

Thanks.
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PostIcon Posted on: May 24 2013, 5:25 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

You can make a decent loop starting from the West side at a USFS Campground.  Pretty easy to put it together an NOT camp in the Park.  Eliminates bear canisters and permits.
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QUOTE
You can make a decent loop starting from the West side at a USFS Campground.  Pretty easy to put it together an NOT camp in the Park.  Eliminates bear canisters and permits.

Sure you can, but why? Some of the best campsites are within the "zones". Not to mention those that are not listed on the map where camping is allowed as well.
Permits? not a problem. However, the extra 2 lbs with the bear canister I could do without. Although if you don't own one and you plan to stay in the park, the free rental the park offers is pretty nice.


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PostIcon Posted on: May 25 2013, 9:58 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

With multiple natural food sources at risk I expect bear encounters to increase. I don't backpack too much anymore, but sure do appreciate the convenience of the canister.

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PostIcon Posted on: May 25 2013, 1:11 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Not dissing the Park.  There are nice camp sites in the park, tho decent ones outside as well.  Outside Park, no worry for 'if' there are walk up permits, altho they are usually there.  Thing I didn't like in the Park was the 'highway' trail system, too well built.  Also a lot of people on the trails in the Park. Personally I wouldn't short change the hike by riding the tram.
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PostIcon Posted on: May 25 2013, 11:37 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Early-mid July should not be a problem for getting a walk-in permit, as long as you have a little flexibility in starting (easier to get a permit starting the next day rather than the day of; if you are willing to start in a lower camping zone or out of the park the first day this also helps).  The park is starting to become busy in July but not terribly so; if you were showing up in early August you would have more problems.

The valley trail is not really a scenic trail; it is mostly useful for connecting loops.  The park has had to close the Phelps Lake campsites on the valley trail recently due to black bear problems, which can cause problems connecting this section.  Given a limited number of days, I would spend more time in the high country and deal with getting a shuttle.  

Try to put your trip as late as possible, mainly for the snowpack, which varies greatly from year to year.  Some years all the passes are user friendly by mid-July, some years the snow line is still at 8500 feet, I've hiked in both.  Your main worries snow-wise will be Paintbrush Divide and Hurricane Pass.

I'm a photographer, so I like to have shorter days and lots of time for exploring, which may influence my campsite selection:

Favorite campsites:

If you can get Marion Lake, it sure beats upper Granite Canyon, which really doesn't have many good spots that are flat AND near water AND out of sight (possibly none).

Death Canyon shelf is an awesome place.  Fox Creek Pass is a good alternate, where you can view sunrise on the shelf and sunset on the Tetons; there are some nice flat spots just north of Pass Lake.  Sure, they're in direct view of the trail, but it's not like you're hanging out there all day, right?  Side trip: From here you can hike east up to the ridgeline overlooking Indian Lake and Jackson Hole, an easy ascent.

I thought Sunset Lake was beautiful (as are the basin lakes), but I was there in mid-August and entranced by the fields of flowers surrounding the lake...  

Camp high in the south fork (better views).  Side trip: day hike up to Avalanche Divide for great views, and then climb back up towards (or to) Hurricane Pass for sunset.  The June edition of Backpacker had a great sunset photograph of the Tetons taken from just above this camping zone.

Camp high in the north fork - my favorite campsites are the top two - and spend sunset at Lake Solitude.  The view across the lake of sunset light on the Tetons is amazing.  Side trip: With enough extra time scramble up the rock field to Mica Lake.  Also: bring an extra pair of shorts and go swimming.

In Paintbrush Canyon, Holly Lake is nice; Grizzly Bear Lake is a feasible alternative and has the benefit of being off-trail; if you camp in the upper Paintbrush Zone all the good campsites are in the upper part of the zone above the trail junction.

This is not really planning out a trip (sorry?), just giving lots of options for camping.  
-Danielle
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PostIcon Posted on: Jul. 25 2013, 11:38 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Thanks to all for the recommendations.  Should be leaving soon, making a stop in the Medicine Bow Mts

Will try for a Granite Canyon to String Lake Permit or the reverse.   Would actually prefer to start at the Coal Creek TH south of the park but would need to arrange transport and I'm too  cheap to pay $200 for a taxi

May try a day try to Surprise Lake as a warm-up.

DC, dinner is on me if you can take us from String Lake TH to Coal Creek TH and we can work out the details/timing.

What is a good planning factor for per day mileage on the Teton Crest?

I'm in OK but not great shape...can run 2 miles in 18 minutes and run for 4 miles + without stopping.  My hiking partner is in great shape.

Thanks
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PostIcon Posted on: Jul. 26 2013, 9:19 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Three?

Fridays and Saturdays are no good for me ASIDE FROM EARLY MORNINGS, dropping off at Coal Creek by 08:30 so I can get to work in time.

Beyond that I have obligations and plans here and there but not bad, and happy to help if we can work out timing. Drive a F150, bench seat. 2 hikers in front with me.

Gotta run, let's message,

John


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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 03 2013, 9:32 am Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE

Hope you're OK Three, never heard from you for that shuttle. Please give us an update.

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