A trail, just like any other trail, only more so. In the middle of 3 days of overcast and variable rain, the skies opened for close to two hours, and I went for a walk in the direction that I had initially rolled in.
What strikes me about this trail is that it has signs of long but infrequent use. There’s very little slope to this plateau but, as with all such trails, what there is in the direction of travel causes erosion along it. At first it’s just a path, then a trail, then a mini-canal with a partial trail next to it, then the same with drivearound loops added to keep it passable at the points where it isn’t any more.
Switchbacks seem to be the worst for this, since they have plenty of rain-gathering ground above and can develop some real volume and momentum in the water flow. Erosion may be notable near the top, but it’s a real trench at the bottom, typically. The trail I was walking today doesn’t aggressively gather water, but simply transports some from one end to the other, down its mild slope.
At any rate, the view down the trail was interesting because its straight path was now passable with difficulty, while the working pieces of trail coming off and rejoining it disappeared behind bushes and trees. In one or two spots, the erosion justifies another branch, but the bushes there won’t allow a simple path through. I have no idea why, but there’s something in me that wants to return to FS573 and the highway using that straight path, avoiding the new, easy steer-arounds. But, since this little jaunt and its hardware are entirely on my dime, and since edge collapses and drops in two areas would result in quick movement and a lot of sudden tilt, I’ll be taking the lazy-butt way out, thank you!
Despite the surrounding low trees, this camp still has a good start on the “big sky” view, and wandering further down it just a little ways in the other direction revealed a couple more campsite possibilities. Considering I’m at the midpoint of FS9011D and have yet to investigate the second half, that bodes well for future usability. There are other MVUM-approved trails in this general area as well, and may be worth checking out, too.