More adventures along Cedar Creek

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ar_kayaker
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More adventures along Cedar Creek

Postby ar_kayaker » Mon Feb 26, 2007 3:46 pm

Went back to Petit Jean Sunday to pick up the last caches in the park I hadn't already found and ended up finding myself on an unexpected detour.

I had already done my geocaching for the morning and had made my way to the falls for a picnic lunch when I noticed an oddity not far from the Falls trail...a set of stairs that had somehow had slipped my notice on the dozens of other times I'd been to the Falls in the past.

Curiosity got the better of me and thinking there might be something to see where ever they led I headed up them and followed the path at the top of them around a couple of switchbacks before finding a downed tree across the path.

A minor barrier and one I didn't give much thought since there had been quite a few storms lately. The trails maintenance people just hadn't gotten around to it yet...or so I thought.

Beyond the downed tree the trail condition worsened and after a couple of more switchbacks I was pretty sure the trail wasn't being maintained at all other than by the feet of the occasional adventurer such as myself.

Finally I found myself at the base of the bluff across the canyon from the main falls overlook with no apparent way to the top that didn't involve climbing some pretty steep rock faces while hanging over the gorge below. Since rock climbing isn't my forte anyway I decided to eat my lunch beneath the overhang almost directly below the CCC overlook before heading back down the narrow trail.

While eating I noticed an even narrower trail that split from the one I'd followed just before it reached the rock face and followed it with my eye to a point where it appeared to drop away into the void below a prominence of rock just down the canyon wall from where I sat.

Not one to leave any stone unturned I followed this trail too to find that instead of dropping away, it eked around the end of the prominence as a path less than two feet wide with near vertical rock on one side and a shear drop of over a hundred feet on the other.

Gripping the tiny pines clinging to cracks in the rock I braved the path around the edge where it widened back to more normal proportions with a less hairy slope below. and finally made it to the top of the bluff.

It was definitely a hair raising experience and after reaching the intersection with the BSA trail at the top of the bluff I finally figured out why the trail maintenance was so bad. It is a closed trail. While there where no markings at the bottom or along the trail, the intersection with the BSA trail boasts a nice red "Do Not Enter" sign, facing the other way of course. Since I was exiting I just passed it by ... and took the longer and less harrowing way back to the lodge via the BSA.

AR_kayaker
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BackpacknJack
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Re: More adventures along Cedar Creek

Postby BackpacknJack » Mon Feb 26, 2007 10:33 pm

ar_kayaker wrote:..Snip/ followed it with my eye to a point where it appeared to drop away into the void below a prominence of rock just down the canyon wall from where I sat.

Not one to leave any stone unturned I followed this trail too to find that instead of dropping away, it eked around the end of the prominence as a path less than two feet wide with near vertical rock on one side and a shear drop of over a hundred feet on the other.

Gripping the tiny pines clinging to cracks in the rock...snip/

AR_kayaker

"Eked"? It "Eked" and you "Eked" with it? :shock:
You know you aint right...right? :wink:
(PS. This IS coming from a guy who almost went off King's Bluff Falls at Pedestal Rock State Park because he eked just one ek too far.
PPS. Well maybe just 9/10th of an ek too far because a whole ek and I wouldn't be typing this. That thing is much taller if you are looking down as apposed to looking up and I had no ideal I could break dance :lol:
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