August 23, 2009 by sandwichcontrol

So, as you can tell, we are back from our adventure a little early. We came to the conclusion on our drive up to Devil’s Den that it was not the wisest or best idea for two out of shape people to hike 15 miles. Plus, once we arrived at the park, we discovered that all of the campsites were reserved. So, in order for us to camp we would have to hike 8.5 miles down the trail where we might or might not find a campsite. So, Pancake Land and I decided to hike the Yellow Rock Trail, which is only 3 miles, instead. The camp guide said it was very popular and relatively uncrowded, even on weekends. Perfect. So, we hiked it. It dawned on us afterword, that we recalled reading on the park’s website, that Yellow Rock trail’s difficulty level was “strenuous”. I think by the end we were glad that we did not choose to hike 15 miles and that we learned quite a bit about our needs and limitations as hikers in the process. when we got to the actual Yellow Rock we decided a better name for would be “Rock-Colored Rock”. When descended from the top of it we discovered why it was named Yellow Rock. You will see why when you look at the photos. Also, the noise of the nearby campers sort of put a damper on the whole being in nature thing. I had the brilliant idea to wear noise-cancelling headphones and listen to a “Nature Sounds” relaxation album on your MP3 player to get a more authentic effect.  After we hiked Yellow Rock Trail, we wandered around the Park for a while and climbed all over the dam. We left Devil’s Den and headed for Lake Fort Smith to have our dinner, which we had planned to have at our camp, after discovering that neither of us had been there since it was reopened. We arrived at the lake and found a nice shaded picnic area that was lake-side and I set up my stove. My stove was a gift from my friend Heidi (pronounced Hay-dee) the Judge. She lives in Finland, where she is a Judge. Not just a clever nickname. Anyway, the stove is this amazing old Finnish camp stove that is light weight and compact. Sadly, and with great shame, I have had the stove for almost 7 years and have never used it. So, I used it. And it rocks. It cooked a fairly large pot of soup in about ten minutes. It heated very evenly and did not burn the bottom. Amazing. Heidi, wherever you are, thanks again for this amazing gift! Anyways, we ate our dinner and washed up and sleepily made our way home. I have added the photographs I took while on this adventure as well as yesterday’s Daily Photographs. If you look to the right of this article, you will notice that there are new photograph pages. I took a lot of photographs yesterday. It took us a lot longer than the suggested 2 hours to hike the trail due to all of the photo taking (not due to the amount of resting that I had to do). “Hey P.L., let’s stop for a second so that I can take a few photographs of these dead leaves.” Right. Well, anyway, by the time we got home, we had forgotten the disappointment of not being able to camp and had decided that the trip was a great success. Well, as much as I would like to sit at this computer for a few more hours, I have stuff to do. More soon. ~SC.


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