On Nov 9 the Jeepers Creepers took their first run of the 2016 - 2017 season in a six vehicle caravan led by Jerry and Nancy Grout. The announced destinations were the Roosevelt Lake Overlook off the Young Road and the cave on the Malicious Gap Road in the Mogollon Rim country. The Young Road is designated as a state highway, no. 288 . It is paved for a few miles, semi paved for more and smooth gravel for most of its length. It is a scenic road to drive if you are not in a hurry. This is the third time the group has taken this run in the 11 years I have been an active member.
The first time we visited both, the second time we visited the overlook but could not find the cave for not going far enough on Malicious Gap Road, and this time a third of the group visited the cave.
Our coffee break was in the Miami city park. Above are Bill and Mickey Wilkinson, guests of Austin and Mary Ellen Hulcher.
Other members making the trip are shown below: first row, Jerry and Nancy Grout and Jay Olson, with Diane Olson behind him in white;
second row – the Hulcher group and Denise Carlson; and third row, Steve Carlson, Bill and Mike Carter.
We crossed the Salt River as it empties into Lake Roosevelt. This view is upstream.
Here is the entrance to the Lake Roosevelt overlook, FR 488. We passed it so we could have more time looking for the cave.
We passed the rugged Sierra Ancha mountain wilderness area.
If we looked over our shoulders on the way up, we would have seen the light brown overlook area in the middle distance.
Continuing, we had a traffic delay for work being done on the road, apparently to remove landslide material over the road. The backhoe loaded two large trucks with loose material while vehicles waited, so the delay was considerable.
After we turned left on the Malicious Gap road, FR 609, Jerry found a great spot for lunch. Here we are packing up after lunch and patrolling our area to leave it pristine for the next visitors.
After the group broke up, Austin Hulcher was the one who found the X on the ponderosa to mark the short trail to the cave. The X was augmented here with paper to make it more noticeable. The landmark is 10.5 miles from the intersection of the Malicious Gap and Young roads.
Here is the proof that I hiked down to the entrance to the cave. At the upper right is the edge of the flat area where the marker tree is located.
The group split up near here – the Grouts, Carlsons and Olsons found a good road (FR 416) to descend to Lake Roosevelt and exit the area through Punkin Center, the Hulchers and Carters continued to Young and had dinner in Payson, and I returned the way we had come.