Y’all, ok, we probably didn’t almost die but it was close.
Here’s what happened and I will try to explain it the best I can.
We are standing on the river bank contemplating the best way to cross it and eventually we decided to just do it. Josh went out to the middle still actually holding Sam’s retractable leash. Sam was sitting by me watching Josh with a worried look on his face. I should have took that as my first warning honestly. But I didn’t.
Josh gives the Ok to cross….
What we hoped was that I would carry Allie and Sam would just follow me. He is my baby and is extremely loyal to me so we figured hey he will just come right on over. Well he didn’t.
I slung Allie over my shoulders like a scarf because she’s light and started my way across. I got halfway and slipped on a rock…..and fell in. Josh throws this long ass stick to me to save me, all while still holding Sam’s leash in the other hand, and Sam is still hanging out on the bank. The water was going pretty good honestly. Enough for me to be a tad concerned. But….I grabbed onto the stick and maintained Allie on my shoulders with one hand. She starts whining. I finally made it to the other side.
In the meantime, Josh is still in the middle of the water and Sam is on the opposite side of the river looking scared as hell. Like we were just going to leave him there. We are telling him it’s ok and to just come over and tugging on the leash. Well….his stupid collar flies off… ugh! So Josh heads back over to the other side to carry him. I mean Sam isn’t that big, maybe 70 pounds, but I mean to carry him and the pack through the water….Lord….what were we thinking!!
Josh proceeds to carry Sam across slips and almost goes completely in. Allie is still whining like crazy because she is scared that her dad and brother are looking worried as all get out. So I go to the rescue, trying to the do the same thing with the stick. Now that I think about it… that was a dumb ass idea. I mean Josh has a 70lb dog and he is wading through the water. How was he supposed to grab the stick? Really Nicole? I need to work on my critical thinking.
When Josh gets pretty much to the shore. Allie flies into the water like she is going to save the day and starts getting swept away by the current. I had to go back in grab her crazy ass. And we all make it to the shore. We stand there for a minute and I am pretty much in tears. Sam is sitting there staring at us with a look like “you guys are about the dumbest people I have ever met.” Once we settle that adrenaline rush we look up on the bank and see damn blackberry bushes. Thorny, blackberry bushes. OF COURSE!!! There was no way in hell I was crossing the river again so our only option was to go forward.
I slung Allie back over my shoulders slowly making my way through the rocks and blackberries because I didn’t want to fall in between the rocks where there appeared to be deep holes. Took me about 15 minutes to make it to a decent area where I could put Allie down. What does she do?! She runs back through the blackberries over to Josh! WHYYY. Josh is just standing there shaking his head. Both dogs run back to me and Josh slowly started making it my way. I mean, what I could do? Surprisingly they came out fine and the only ones with scratches on them were us!
Let me tell you when we finally made it back to the correct trail we were exhausted and learned to never question ourselves like that again!!
We made it back to the dam on the right side of it, and boy is it a site. The water is just gushing over, spilling into the toilet bowel.
Down a little ways more there is actually a small cave you can swim in that I went in the last time I was there. Definitely check that out! You can also jump off the dam! I did that the last time also with a lot of coaching from strangers. We didn’t get in the water this time due to the temperature.
There are certain areas where you are not allowed to camp so be mindful of that. Back about a half mile is where you can really camp. You can see where others have camped previously.
We had the place to ourselves and took advantage of it. We explored and discovered the area and just relaxed once we got there. After hunting down a few good trees we broke out the hammocks and took a nice little nap.
It took us about 4 hours to get down. Of course due to our side adventure we went on.
The next morning we woke up and made breakfast. Slowly tore down our site and repacked our gear. I was happy that my pack was already lighter than the prior day. My tush was about to be burning and I was not looking forward to it.
We started our slow journey back up the canyon that only took 3 hours. We took the right rail and crossed where you were supposed to with no problems! When we crossed that second time we started laughing at how easy it was. I mean really?!? Ha ha!
Going up was definitely tough but we made it! We felt great conquering our first overnight hike!
Please do your research before heading out on the hike. Things can become confusing and you need to be sure you are heading to the correct place, with or without a permit. You can find more information here.