Today was hot.
Well over 80°F hot. We had another really lazy start to the day. We didn’t break camp until gone eleven. As we thought, we’d stopped for the night about a quarter-mile from the West Devils Den trail, which we hiked down today. There was a wonderful glade section that looked almost alpine. Again there were no signs of recent usage, which is to be expected with the Coy Bald trail head closed by the lake flooding over the access road. There were several fresh trees down, making for a bit of a scramble in places. The final descent to Devils Den Creek was fairly steep and potentially treacherous with loose rock.
We stopped for lunch by the bluffs on Long Creek, and decided camp at the western campsite at the falls if it wasn’t occupied. All we had to do was get there. We hiked the Rock Spring trail back to Long Creek trail. Near where the East Devils Den trail meets Rock Spring trail there’s an old stock pond, which had frogs that sounded like electronic sheep it. I named them ‘Sheep Frogs’. Back home we discovered that there are indeed frogs called sheep frogs – because of their bleating call.
Along Rock Spring trail we tried to spot the place where there’s an old stock pond, spring box, and small decrepit hut. But we couldn’t spot it. That’s twice we’ve failed to find it. Neither the spring, stock pond or building are marked on any of the maps.
Back at The Falls the upper campsite was occupied so we stopped and enjoyed the view for a while. Sunning itself near the falls was a large 4 foot plus Midland water snake. Very pretty, looking in the falls we saw another three much smaller snakes swimming. I’m glad I didn’t spot it yesterday when I was frolicking in the water. We decided to camp at the site we’d spotted yesterday a mile or so up Long Creek. When we arrived we found the site had been used the night before, but it had been left if fairly good condition. Search around for access to Long Creek we found a second campsite further back in the brush. The creek here had an overhanging shelf to the West and a small set of foot high falls to the East. We set up camp, picked up our dinner, stove and chairs and went down to the creek to refill our water, bathe, eat dinner and sit and enjoy the view.
It wasn’t long before the voracious mosquitoes got the better of us and we headed back to the bug-free haven of the tent. I was already covered in large welts from earlier encounters with the beasts. Again we didn’t set the fly, it was just too hot.