We were feeling the weather and the rising
of the sap this week and opted to go for an overnight backpacking trip to Cane
Creek Canyon over in Tuscumbia.
It started as a 2-nighter, but the weather decided not to cooperate. Still, we made our menu and shopped, loaded our packs and headed out as though we were going to be staying 3 days, needless to say, that extra food got heavier on the way out! We decided it would be better to hike out a little hungry and stop for a good meal on the way home than hike out with, as Chandler put it
"15 pounds of extra food. Each." With our packs weighing it at 25 pounds for the heaviest, mine and 17 pounds for the lightest, Ben's, I don't think we really had THAT much extra food! Matt is picking us up a hanging scale to end the debate.
We left home around 9:30 on Wednesday morning and arrived at Cane Creek around 11:30. I chatted with the Lacefield's starting with Faye until Jim got back from a haircut, then she left to go get her's done. It occurred to me that, along with ALL the work they put into maintaining the trails and privies and allowing people to wander freely on their 100's of acres they own or lease JUST to allow people to roam around on them, they also don't get to head out for lunch together or to run errands-someone has to be there to check hikers in and make sure things are going well. Case in point, just a few minutes after we pulled up, while I was checking out maps to take with us, a group of 3 men on motorcycles came roaring in and tried to head right down to the creek on the ATV access road.
After chatting a while with the owners, we lounged around in the yard, sipping cool water and poking at our packs, waiting on Michelle to arrive. She did, just after 12, and we headed to The Point, stopping to look at the waterfall, which was about as wide as my wrist-the whole area's in a drought.
Even though it's usually a late-May bloomer, the mountain laurel is already putting on a show, with its lacy blooms.
The view from The Point is always breathtaking.
The kids decided our next camp out would be up here.
I have to agree, the breeze makes it hard to resist.
We stopped at The Point and enjoyed the
view and the breeze while we had a picnic lunch, then opted to try the Steep
Trail to get to Linden Meadows. On the map, the 'easy' way down goes in a long,
curved line way off along the ridge and then down a long hill with a couple
turns and hooks back around just under itself, doubling back about 1/4 a mile.
The Steep Trail just jags almost straight down, crashing into the longer trail
abruptly, cutting 20 or so minutes off the walk. It was interesting to do it
with full packs on. I was surprised how off balance it made me, even cinched
down tight. the kids had no issues and barreled down the slope trusting that
ragged guardian angel of theirs. I have often been too aware of just how many
near misses and scrapes they avoid and I know I have not seen half the things
they have nearly had happen to them. Jake in particular must draw a groan from
the cosmos when he wakes up each day and his latest luck has to follow him around
until he crashes into sleep again.
In the middle top part of the pic, you can see the newest addition to the trail-steps!
The family quota of good fortune being alloted elsewhere, I fumble around, stubbing toes and sliding on rocks and whacking myself in the head with branches. The trail deposits me on the wide, flat ground by Cane Creek, where we follow the ATV road and cross to the pavillion at Linden Meadows just a couple minutes later. We enjoy resting a short time and head off to Creekside, Michelle and her crew heading back out. Though it seems like a short walk, it's over 3 miles round trip from the parking area to Linden Meadows. We have another couple of miles left ourselves, to get to the campsite. We get the better deal for the day, our hike follows the creek and rolls along on small hills, crossing the low water on sturdy bridges and the whole way is lined with wildflowers and green trees, the breeze blowing steady and the sun beaming down, filtering through the trees and making everything glow.