Have you ever been on a first date with a girl who is smart, attractive, charismatic, and sincerley laughs at your sense of humour? She's got alot going for her and you think a second date is a good idea. You follow up with the second date, things are going well when she says, "I really like you, you're such a nice grounded guy, so I have to be honest with you before this goes any further. What I'm about to say I desperately hope won't change things between us". You wait with baited breath. What could it be. Suddenly she blurts out, " I HAVE GENITAL WARTS!" She goes on to say it's not that bad and that she hasn't a breakout in a few years. She's pretty and everthing, but all your hearing is "GENITAL WARTS!".
This is what this hike was like for me.
I had been there with a bunch of CT'ers a while back, and I found the area to be pretty spectacular. Massive trees, snow capped mountains, beautiful river and not too many people, so a second date was in order to get a bit more intimate with this area. I brought my buddy Scott along to show him just what I was talking about.
Early morning looking across the lake...
...and back down the lake.
Couple zoom shots.
Pretty sexy so far.
The first few minutes of the trail. (Enjoy it while it lasts.)
We come to a great spot where the water is begging us to enjoy her soothing pleasures. "Don't I look inviting?" she says.
We soon realize we are at a dead-end. We feel slightly deceived, and back-track to find the trail proper. We soon come to an area of fabulous old growth. The forest has redeemed herself, our trust is now rebuilding.
She beckons us deeper and tempts us with glimpses of splendour such as these....
A clear trail...
Don't be fooled. This is nothing more that a sultry ploy to intice you further into her snare. We soon discovered that while she looks good from afar, she is far from good.
This was her calling card.
The trail is so completely over-grown it spots it is easy to lose. Devils club is constant, thick prickly berry bushes are 6-8 feet high in many (most) places after the first 45 minutes and some of these stretches are long. Oh, did I mention the alder? Don't get me started on the amount of blow-down that completely disguises large sections of the route. The only way to tell if your on the trail is by letting your feet be your eyes; they will tell you if you are still on the firm packed trail or if you have ventured slightly off course. Much of the day was trying to ensure we are on the right path, and this included acting more like a bull in china shop. Head down, hiking poles out-stretched in front of you as a somewhat ineffective shield, and then just power through hoping you'll come out into a clearing. The forest constantly teases you just enough with promises of a clear trail, or perhaps a fantastic large tree, or maybe some log crossings just to keep it interesting.
She seems nice but I'm constantly being bitch-slapped; I'm losing my patience and I'm ready to snap. I've lost skin to tree branches, bushy growth, and a tenacious horse-fly that I like to call "Lucky". (He got away, but I came very close.)
I thought I had the last laugh when I found a nice little beach near the border for lunch and some rest.
In the end, she won. (But I did manage to make it back to the truck before it totally fell apart. At least I can now justify new boots.)
If you decide to do this hike, please don't be fooled by her beauty....and bring protection, cause you WILL need it.