On our weekend adventure, after going the wrong way and ending up at Signal Point, cowboying our way down a road made for ATVs rather than mini-vans and nearly removing our bumper trying to turn around, we headed towards our initial destination: Snoopers Rock.
We made our way slowly back up the ATV-friendly road back to the long gravel road that traverses the Prentice Cooper State Forest. At some point, I got a signal on my iPhone and looked up a map of the park. True to the rest of the day, I realized we had passed the trailhead for Snoopers Rock and we turned around. But, curious about what appeared to be a fire tower along the way, I asked Pat to stop, back up, and pull into the park headquarters to check it out.
When Pat put our trusty mini-van in reverse, something drug on the gravel road. Pat got out and discovered the radiator shroud was hanging far lower than it should be. I don’t know what a radiator shroud is, but was relieved that Pat thought we’d be OK for a few days as long as we stopped running over things with it.
The fire tower was open to the public with an ominous sign at the base of the terrifying stairs stating that if you enter, you have to assume responsibility if you get hurt. I made it up the first two flights of steep, narrow steps (less than halfway to the top) before a strong wind shaking the tower reminded me just how afraid of heights I am. I took what were, I’m sure, my best shots of the day of the tower. However, they mysteriously disappeared, making me slightly less enamored with shooting with Hipstamatic on my iPhone instead of my DSLR.
We headed back to the trailhead, parked, crossed the road and headed down the trail, expecting to arrive at Snoopers Rock in less than half a mile. Eventually, we saw a sign that said Indian Rock House was .9 mile away and Snoopers Rock was a couple of miles beyond. I was quite perplexed. We decided to head on down to Indian Rock House–we were nearly there. Our day was destined to be a day of detours.
Indian Rock House has a stone door much like the one at Savage Gulf, but on a smaller scale. The gap in the rocks leads down narrow, steep steps that rivaled the fire tower for hazardousness, but felt far more secure with the ground much closer.
The Rock House is a large indentation in the cliffside that provides a roof if you stay close to the rock wall. I wouldn’t call it a cave, but it did provide shelter to indigenous people at some point in history. It was pretty cool in any case.
By the time we hiked back up to the trailhead, we decided we’d better call it a day. Some day, we’ll make it to Snoopers Rock.