You know it will be a good trip when you have to ascertain where your hiking partner is on the drive to the trailhead by asking if they have passed the angry girl toting a snake yet.
The Walls of Jericho is a hard hike and why I thought it would be a great backpacking trip to undertake 4 weeks after getting back into 'walking on flat ground' shape is beyond me, but we did it!
After the alpaca tour, the six of us: Kurt
and Emma, Melanie and Ben and myself and my Ben headed to Scotsburo for a late
lunch and then to the trailhead for Walls of Jericho. We had originally planned
to hike in the AL side and out the TN side, but the hike out would be 2 miles
longer that route. So we all just stayed put.
The hike in to the camping area at the cemetery is about 2 miles and it's 95% downhill. So we made great time and chatted and yacked the whole way.
Ben loves backpacking, yay, it's FUN!
This bridge scared the stew out of me, the hand rail is really loose, so it was useless. I thought I was going to fall in!
We got camp set up and I headed out to get water for dinner, I finally got to use my UV light! It worked great.
The trail to the left goes into the cemetery.
Even though it was almost dark, we decided it would be fun to get flashlights and head off to the walls, which are another mile from the camping area.
It was nearly dark, but we all agreed we were glad to have made the hike.
Tiny ring necked snake. We saw half a dozen of these guys.
Ben T and Emma get the fire going.
Ben and I skipped dinner, neither of us
were hungry. We all hung out at the fire a while and then started to drift off
Then the coyotes starrted calling. It sounded like the closest one was in the cemetery! The kids got scared and so we all stayed up a while longer, walking out into the field and looking at the stars and watching the fireflies. The kids went back to sit around the fire and talk, I crashed.
I have a new sleeping pad and it's too tall! I felt like I was going to fall off most of the night. I am seriously thinking I might take 2 pads if I can keep them from separating, so I can have a platform to sleep on instead of a 20 inch wide strip. Or I may need to just go back to my 1 inch pad. I am a side sleeper, that's not always enough cushion. I don't know what the compromise will be. I will keep working at it, though.
Ben doesn't like his all natural breakfast. Whiner.
Salamander BORNE OF FIRE!
Me, soooo unaware.
We headed back to the walls to see them in daylight.
Ben found some petrified cheesecake
The water was SO cold right from the spring! Delicious!
If only you could TELL how far down the next level was. Both times I had to talk myself through the whole 'lowering myself over the edge' thing.
Kurt drinking RIGHT FROM THE CREEK.
Actually, the above are switched, he was finishing off his filtered water and then refilling.
It was a really drama-free trip, I needed some scandal.
We headed back to the car around noon. I had hoped to BE at the parking area by noon, to avoid the HEAT. It took 90 minutes (for me!) to walk out. I was pretty sure the heat was going to do me in. Ben did not get water before we headed up, so I gave him my second bottle. I was out of water before I was halfway up, which made everything worse. I am in BAD shape from just not being able to walk and it was hot, hot, hot. Nearly 90 and HUMID. I had taken allergy stuff so I could breathe and still felt like I was underwater. It was a hard climb, but I did it and I can do it faster next time. I can't get in any worse shape, that's for sure! So it's all improvement from here, hahahaha!
Me, pretty sure THIS is my death photo. OMG, it was HOT
Ben has a FREAKY flexible neck. aaaaaaa
We all met back up in the parking lot and
headed out toward home. Ben and I stopped for cold drinks and made it back home
in about 90 minutes. The time it took me to walk 2 miles, hahaha!