Chapter 3 – The Trip
The next day was Sunday and true to our arrangements of the previous evening, we three met at the Coffee Shop. It was nice to see them and neither looked any worse for the last evenings activities. As far as I knew, neither of them had drunk too much or had reason to spend the night elsewhere. They were full of chatter of the happenings after we left for apparently, the two dancing couples got into it and settled their differences outside with fisticuffs. Actually, it was more like bear hugging, hair pulling and rolling than out-and-out blows but all of their respective prides were hurt but not much more. The local constabulary came along and broke it up and issued a couple of citations for disturbing the peace. I thought, small town goings on but in truth, this sort of thing can happen anywhere.
“What do you want to bring that for” said Evelyn “We will be on a marked trail and we are not planning on staying overnight”
I looked at her and said “In my experience, when you get off the beaten track and go anywhere in the woods, you need to be prepared. Besides, the only discomfort may be in carrying the thing and I will do that”.
Before long with Evelyn driving, we were buzzing along on our way to the mountains. It was still early spring and things were just starting to bud out all over the place. It was a really pretty drive and as I had the entire back seat to myself was kinda sprawled out in a most comfortable way.
Angela turned around to see how comfortable I was and remarked, “Don’t go to sleep. You look like you are about to”. “Yeah” I responded “Would be real easy to do but I’ll stay awake”. I had brought both of my cameras with me and was busy taking shots as we drove along. Evelyn stopped as this big twelve point buck walked slowly across the road, pausing at one point and looking at the car as if to say, “take my picture” which I did, several in fact.
We reached the Park and got out of the car. The Ranger wandered over to chat with us and to fill us in on the latest news regarding the trail we were going to walk that day. Apparently, there was a minor rock fall we had to climb over and still some flooding close to the lake but other than that, there were no significant problems. With his parting “Take care” ringing in our ears, we set off along the well-marked trail which would swing around for about eight miles and return us back to where we started. At least, that was the plan.
Hiking these sorts of trails is relatively easy. All are well-marked and most have been cleared so it was really like taking a long walk in the country. The only thing to watch out for dangers of the human kind riding off-road vehicles or the very occasional bear. Not a bit like walking unmarked country trails or through the woods with nothing to guide you. There, you need a compass and an idea of where you are heading while here, all you do is follow the signs.
We reached a lookout point with a wonderful view of the valley and river below. To get to the point itself, we had to climb over one hundred steps carved out of the rock or man-made where needed. It was well worth the climb. It must have been several hundred feet to the valley bottom and we could see a couple of canoes on the river riding the rough water. From up here, it didn’t look very turbulent but I imagine it took some considerable dexterity to operate a canoe through that rock strewn water.