Continuing our hike from Signal Point to Edward Point, Tisen and I made our way along the steep slope of the gully.
I guess it’s a gully. I’m not really clear on when a gully becomes a canyon or if there’s some other name for a horse-shoe-shaped space in the side of a mountain, but essentially, we were going to hike in nearly an ellipse, but we were going to end up on a point on the opposite cliff from where we started.
The trail starts high, goes mostly downhill to the midpoint and then climbs again to Edward Point overlook on the far side. It requires stepping over, on, or around many rocks in the process. We clambered our way up the trail, keeping a pretty good pace going. I eyed the poison ivy growing along the trail with disdain–I knew it meant Tisen and I were going to be taking very thorough baths that night.
When we got about another 1/2 mile down the trail, we ran into an impasse. This happens quite frequently on trails. A tree has fallen across the trail that can’t be gone over, so you have to go around. Usually, this might mean walking a 1/10 of a mile out of the way to skirt the fallen tree. In this case, there were dozens of trees that had fallen. It was a terrible scene of destruction that made me sad. On the other hand, with as many bad storms as have rolled through this area in recent years, it’s pretty amazing that that’s all the damage that’s been done.
But there were piles of fallen trees. And we we tried to go around, we ran into only more fallen trees. We went around and went around some more, trying to find a route through all the crap that fell with the trees. Eventually, we did make it.
Of course, in the process, I lost the trail. We ended up bush-whacking our way back to the trail, arriving slightly scratched and a little more tired than we would have otherwise.
When we finally found the main trail again, we hadn’t gone more than 10 feet hen we saw a junction with a trail that came from the same direction we had just come from. It was clearly blazed as the main trail and it looked like it would have missed all of the fallen trees. I kicked myself and wondered how I had missed that option when we took the high trail to hell.
But, back to relatively clear sailing, we continued on our way, making it to the point where we’d turned around the first time we tried to hike this trail and pushing beyond. Less than a 1/4 mile past our previous turn-around point, we ran into a stream. Tisen made quick work of laying down in the water to cool off. I thought about joining him, but there wasn’t a puddle big enough.