Sunday, July 16, 2017

The Stanley Chronicles: Turkey Run 2017: Day 2A; Stepping Out

After a night of being lullabied to sleep by racoon fights, we wake up bright but not too early for a day of hiking and planned horseback riding.  4PB begged to go to the Nature Center for the 9:30am bird feeding.  We got there just as it was beginning.  The critters know a good thing.  They were practically lined up waiting for the food to arrive.  Birds of all kinds, squirrels, chipmunks, etc.

Following the bird feeding, we gathered up our water/gatorade, grabbed the camera, and put on our hiking/wading shoes.  Planning on lots of water walking, I went w/ my Ho Chi Min's.  This turned out to be a boon and a bane.  More on that later.

We head back down the trail to the suspension bridge.  Camera in hand . (Warning, lots of photos ahead)
  DANGER: Do Not Feed The Cliffs!!!

 Newby Gulch
The steps to the Suspension Bridge.

Now comes the part where I talked about the 'Stanley' in the previous post.  We had planned on taking some photos of the overhang and the Cliff Swallow nest and then retracing up trail three.

Yeah, that didn't happen.

Overnight, the river had risen multiple feet. Like lots of them.  The under the bridge path to the Coal Mine was completely underwater.

Alright. Fair enough.  Back the other way to the Rocky Hollow etc. trail following a few snapshots of the rock formations right at the end of the bridge I thought were cool.

We continue on to Trail 3 towards 'Rocky Hollow'... then stopped.  The creek had also risen three to five feet. 

"Oh but Third", I hear some of my readers say, "It's only about 50yds to where it seems to shallow out. You can wade through that".  True. The thought did cross my mind. However, we had seen what was under the water yesterday.  Lots of rocks, branches, and logs to snag us.  Plus that friendly little copperhead snake we saw swimming right along made me think twice. Yes, it was one. We had just seen it's twin brother at the Nature Center. Now, sans snake, I would have probably done it if I were alone.  Wasn't going to risk the kids and sure as hell wasn't going to try and convince the CinC.  I still wanted this to be a pleasant family adventure.

So a few pics of the Rocky Hollow that we could see from the walkway:

OK. Time to check the map again.  We turn around and decide to take 3 from the other direction and improvise based on time.  So we start climbing steps, and steps, and more steps.  Then we start going down steps, and steps, and more steps.

Gods there's a lot of steps.  Oh, right, this is a 'Very Rugged' trail.  And the temp is definitely getting hotter.

After a bit we started climbing down to the (Devil's) 'Ice Box'.  It used to be called that but now it's just the 'Ice Box'.  No idea when the name changed.  The temp dropped by about 20 deg at least.

It was so nice and cool. We discussed moving our campsite there and I took a quick shower.

There was also a very sedate Black Rat Snake hanging around that the kids fell in love w.

Staying on Trail 3, more fantastic formations on the way Bear Hollow and 'The Ladders' (dun dun duuuuun).

Bear Hollow and the 140 Steps of the 'Ladders'.   Climbing.  Oh so much climbing. And the temp. got warmer again the higher we got.

A short video of the kids playing at damming part of the waterfall and making 'glorp' sounds.

At this point time started becoming an issue. It was after noon and we had an appt. for horseback riding at two. We cut back on Trail 10 (only 'Moderate' pffft) to head back to the bridge.  Not as much scenery but we did meet this little guy along the way.

A cool overhead shot of 4PA looking out at the river.

Nice shot of the suspension bridge.

On the steps leading up to the Nature Center trail (omg more steps), the brickwork is covered w/ lichen, moss, and ferns.

Back to the campground we went for a quick lunch of sandwiches and cold water/gatorade, some quick cleanup, and back to the park for some afternoon horseback riding. 

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