I loaded the
GPS with the data from our last trip,
local maps, and waypoints. Since I wasn't planning to make a run
for the cache, I wasn't very concerned about those details, though they
were loaded just in case. Maria packed a terrific picnic lunch and
I put it in the large cooler. I strapped it and some folding
chairs to the roof rack, along with the
Nylint Rock Crawler.
I figured that when the fishing and eating wore off it might be fun to
see what the little Jeep could do on the river rocks.
Ted and Tomi's
third cousin Jon Paul was visiting us from New York City, so this would
be a new experience for him: taking a ride in an open vehicle,
down a canyon wall to a wild river for some fishing and Rock Crawling.
We loaded everyone
in the Jeep and drove out to the trail.
The trail was a
little more wet that the last trip. It had been raining a fair
amount over the last couple weeks so that was not much of a surprise.
Maria was a little surprised and disconcerted by the steepness of the
trail and the sheer drop off on her side of the Jeep in many places.
To be honest, it had not occurred to me that while the trail is not very
technical, it is carved into the side of the canyon wall and in places
is narrow, with a good view to the ground far, far below.
We were all happy
to reach the river in one piece. Along the way we ran into
skyraider, a Geocacher who was returning to Down the Cheat Cache to
find it following his DNF when it was missing. He was standing by
the side of the trail as we descended to the river. I stopped and
we chatted for a minute. He had found the trail and I got some
tips about how to locate it if I decided to try again.
When we got down to
the river basin, I took the Jeep off the trail and down to the river
bed. The stream was much higher than our last visit but there was
still enough room to park on the side without going into the water or
drive on any sensitive terrain.
We unpacked our
chairs, lunch and the Rock Crawler. The kids explored the area and
soon found a snake.
After they had
their fill of watching the snake, they played with the Rock Crawler for
a while. Unlike our last trip, the riverside was too contained to
do any full-sized rock crawling so the RC was just the ticket!
Rock Crawling Movies
Then we had
something to eat. The lunch was great, just the thing for a
Saturday afternoon by the river.
The kids did some
fishing, complete with large fish sightings, tangled lines, hooked
stones, and squabbling about the best places to stand to fish.
Ted had been
recovering from a sore throat the night before and complained of a ear
ache. I had some Motrin so we gave him one and after about 45
minutes he was back in action.
Pretty soon we'd
eaten our fill, fished to the conclusion we would not catch anything
from our spots, and each had a turn Rock Crawling. So I loaded up
the Jeep and we drove back out.
Along the way we
ran into many people coming down on ATV's. One commented to me
"You must be mad at your Jeep to take it down here!" I didn't know
what to say. I always like a challenging road, found this one
interesting but in no way extreme (based on my experience), and so
figured the fellow probably didn't have the context for what we do and
figured this was rough stuff. To be fair, there are probably a
number of people who would find this trail a bit too much. Either
because of some perceived risk of falling off the edge, which is
remotely possible. Or perhaps because in some places the brush
does scrape against the side of the vehicle (nothing new for us).
In any case, we
soon reached the top of the trail and headed for home.