I meet the other guys at the Kaibab Lodge around 8:30, we pack my stuff in their car, and we're off. I printed out a map and detailed instructions for getting to the trailhead at Swamp Point. When we reach the final leg of the trip, Forest Road 268B, and drive into the National Park, the road gets considerably rougher. We speculate that the Forest Service provides much better road maintenance than the Park Service. Pretty soon we come to a pair of downed trees. The four of us are able to lift and move the first tree. Three of us hold up the other tree while Keith drives the car under it. Then just a little ways down the road we reach a much larger downed tree. There's no moving this, but it's easy to drive around it. We then come to a third downed tree that is huge. It takes a little bit of scouting but we manage to plan out a route around the tree.
Another fifteen minutes and we reach Swamp Point. The views from here are stunning in all directions. Tom indicates he was here once before a long time ago and explored some up on the Powell Plateau.
We unload our gear and start down the trail, which is wide and smooth. It gradually switchbacks its way down toward the Muav Saddle. Teddy's Cabin is visible during the last part of the descent.
There aren't many blooming flowers, but that is to be expected at this time of year.
At the saddle, we drop our packs and take the short trail down to Teddy's Cabin. It appears to be well constructed and seems to have held up well considering its 85 year age. There is a log book in the front room where visitors can place their names. We assign Tom the task of composing a poem for entry in the log book upon our return in a week.
After our visit, we head back to the saddle and pick up our gear. The trail splits here with the west trail going up to the Powell Plateau. We take the east route down the North Bass Trail and right away come to some interesting plants hanging from an overhang. They are a little similar to the Crimson Monkey Flowers growing under the overhang at Showerbath Spring.
We soon reach the spring/seep just to the southeast and shortly thereafter the start of White Creek, which is flowing quite well right now due to all the recent rain and thunderstorms. It appears finding water will not be an issue on this hike. The trail then heads downhill rapidly, but is in very good shape. I wonder if this section was part of the trail reconstruction work done on the North Bass a few years ago. When we reach the base of this upper section, we stop for lunch in the creek bed. Tom is having some serious boot issues as the heels and soles on both his boots are separating from the upper part of the boot. Bob has a virtual hardware store in his pack and pulls out a spool of stainless steel wire that Tom wraps around his boots. We are hoping that this temporary fix will hold until we reach the River and that there will be rafters there who will have some raft repair cement.
The going is considerably tougher down the creek bed where some boulder hopping and minor route finding is required. Our goal tonight is to reach the base of the Redwall.
We finally reach the place where you climb out of the creek bed and get on top the Redwall. Then it's a few ups and downs and another mile or so until the actual Redwall descent begins. The descent is steep with lots of loose rocks. We are pooped when we reach the bottom of the Redwall and decide to make camp right here even though it's a very poor site. Keith and I walk downstream a ways until we find some flowing water so we can filter enough for supper.
Our plan for tomorrow is to reach the old Bass Camp and spend the night there.