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Friday, October 21, 2011
I continued hiking after the stream crossing for a while; at a certain point, the old jeep road/trail turns sharply left(east) and eventually kind of peters out. This is where the worst part of the bushwhack starts. I backtracked to the sharp curve and struck out in a southwest vector into the woods and immediately came to a big, crumbling bluff; scrambling down a bit further, I came to a steep drop-off where huge boulders had rolled down the hillside. There was a killer view from here over the Richland Creek Wilderness; I spotted Richland Creek way off in the distance and I knew then about where I was. If it hadn't been so close to dark, I would have had to get some photos of the area; as it was, I had to hike at least another 1/2 mile to get to the camping area. Luckily, it's hard to get really lost here; at any time , you can head due west until running into Big Devil's Fork Creek and follow it downstream; that's essentially what I did. Next time, instead of hiking from the stream crossing all the way to the sharp left turn, I will start angling southwest maybe ten minutes after the stream crossing; the incline will be a lot more gradual. (next)