Even though we were in the middle of nowhere, we were next to a river and figured someone had picked this spot to take a break from canoeing several months back. We found some chalk drawings dated June 26th, 2011. I know this girl who absolutely hates the phrase, "Live, Laugh, Love" and I was quick to take this pic of almost that exact phrase written on the side of a cliff five miles into the woods.
What are the chances? We were just talking about this a few hours earlier and here it was. Priceless. I should point out that Scott planned our route through the mountains and assured me that there would be very few hills based on his expert planning skills.
If you look into the distance of this pic, you'll see the three or four hills that we'd already traversed. We had to veer a little off of our original route in order to enjoy the picturesque location where we'd had our "lunch." So, in Scott's defense, these massive and steep hills I was forced to trek up and down carrying a 60 lb backpack were not in the original plan and the riverside dining was well worth it BUT...
I'll give you a hint. I was not very happy but it was tough to be too mad because it was a beautiful day and, even though it was hill after hill as far as the eye could see, those hills were a pretty amazing sight. I'll call it a push.
We ended up hiking about six miles that day. Probably more when you consider all the zigging and zagging. There aren't a whole lot of straightaways in the woods. The hope was that by 5pm we'd make it to a big group of pine trees we'd seen on Google Earth when Scott planned the trip. 5pm hit and we were there. Right on schedule we'd cleared a spot out in the woods, set up our tents and built a fire.
Scott then built a survivor style Lazy Boy from a log, a tree and his backpack as the Rangers threw our the first pitch against Detroit. Having constant connection to all things sports related, Scott had the small radio he carries along on all our survival trips. It's a small convenience. Don't judge us.
The fire was nice, it was a crisp clear night and the Rangers stomped the Tigers. That made Scott happy. I really didn't care, but I was tired and just happy to sit for more than an hour. We would only have a few miles to hike out in the morning, so once Scott crashed out I listened to some old 90s rock on the tiny little radio and went to "bed" earlier than I ever had on any camping trip ever.
Nothing too eventful occurred. We heard an armadillo making its way into our campsite and after half a month of watching horror movies in preparation for Halloween, I have to admit it was a little unnerving as I scrambled for my flashlight. I think the armadillo was a little more scared though. You should have seen the look on his face! Very apologetic for scaring me though. Armadillos are good people.
The next day started early. We tuned in a little NPR and "enjoyed" a little breakfast.
For bacon and eggs with the instructions, "add boiling water and stir," these were surprisingly on the good side of edible.
More than once while sporting my best zombie makeup, I've been heard going on about how "I like turtles." Sometimes they're just jerks though.
That aside though, we made it out. We traveled almost the exact route we'd intended and we exited the woods in the EXACT spot we were supposed to. Less than one hundred yards from where we put the hike behind us was Scott's wife waiting to whisk us back to the city life. We survived and we don't even look that upset in the after picture.
WARNING!! THE PICTURE BELOW IS GROSS! SCROLL DOWN AT YOUR OWN RISK!!
Eight + miles is a pretty long hike through underbrush and fallen trees. That doesn't even account for the countless hills and all that with a 60lb backpack strapped to my back. It's roughly the equivalent of having a fourth grader hang on your back and relentlessly strangle you for two days. As it ends up this can result in impressive blisters on both of your feet.
Didn't roll my ankle though! Leave 'em wanting more! Now that's how you end a BLOG!!