Tisen has a very specific way of cooling off in streams. He walks in, feels around with his feet until he finds the perfect spot, then he lays down. I suspect it has something to do with his Holstein genes.
Having cooled off for several minutes and drunk his fill of water, Tisen recovered enough to tackle the uphill climb.
As we made our way of the far side of the gulch, the climb got steeper. We were distracted by the amazing rock formations. Perhaps this is why, when we got to the next junction in the trail, I decided we needed to head downhill rather than up. This turned out to be a bad mistake.
We ended up on a trail that kept getting narrower and more overgrown. Soon, we were walking through brambles that hooked themselves into bare skin, tearing flesh as I forced my way through. Tisen was somewhat protected by his fur, but both of us looked like we’d taken a beating by the time we got to a clearer part of the trail.
The trail now tucked up against another rock bluff, looking more like a deer trail than a parks and recreation trail. I should have turned around about a 1/4 mile in. Have I mentioned I have issues with going backwards?
On the plus side, since nature was calling pretty loudly at this point, it was good that we were in an isolated area with plenty of underbrush so I could heed the call without fear of someone walking up on me. On the minus side, there were so many enormous spider webs in the rocky bluff I was almost afraid to turn my back on them.
When we got around the bluff, we started bush-whacking uphill, hearing voices above us and thinking that must be the main trail.
This was tough going.
Not only were there more brambles and spider webs, but now there were more and more rocks to climb as well. I was worried about Tisen getting a little more exercise than he could handle.
As we walked along the face of yet another rock bluff, we caught up with a couple with a child and two dogs. I have no idea how they all got there, but there they were. I asked them where we were and they assured me that we were just below the Cumberland Trail. All we had to do was go straight up the rock face.
I found an entry point that I could climb, lifted all 72 pounds of Tisen up onto the rock at shoulder height and managed to convince him to stay up there while I used a tree to assist my own ascent.
Bush-whacking through another patch of brambles rewarded us with being back on the main trail. The couple had said Edward Point was about 15 minutes away; had it been much further, I probably would have started heading home.