Tuesday, May 28th
Had trouble sleeping last night – we didn’t stay up past dark, and were in the tent by 9:00. Our bear pole was (already) bent from the bottom up, like something was pushing on it … or else like a tree fell on it, cause the pole to lift the bag up was bent, too. Either way, it was not good. So, being down in the creepy hollow, as Andy called it, I didn’t want to be up long after sunset. Needless to say, it took us forever to fall asleep, watching the evening light dwindle, and listening to every leaf stirring. I woke up around 4:30 & couldn’t fall asleep for 1/2 hour or so – wanted to wait for the sunrise at 5:30 so I could get up, but ended up falling asleep again.
Was a pretty uncomfortable morning. Left camp then at about 8:30. Thought it would be a pretty easy hike back to the car – about 5+ miles. It ended up being quite the opposite, and if we’d looked at the relief map at the visitor’s center before the hike, we’d have known it. The last 4 miles followed the Escarpment Trail, and it was rough – there were about 5 or 6? steep climbs up the ridges, but at the tops were wonderful views of the Upper Carp River and Lake of the Clouds. We did get lucky about one thing – when we got to the top of the first ridge, it started raining & thundering. I was pretty nervous about getting stuck up on the high ridgeline in a big storm, but it ended up passing over & clearing up quickly. By the end of the hike, it was hot, sunny, and the gnats were hellish. Once we reached the lot, we threw our stuff in the car and got in. Sat in the air conditioning for awhile & then headed back to the visitor’s center to pick up some brochures, check out the relief map, and wash up!