Sunday, September 21, 2008

The Quest for In Yan Teopa Rock

Yesterday started out as a typical geocaching adventure to Frontenac State Park. However, the cache was super easy to find, so we decided to continue our adventure and hike some trails.

The trail that we were on, forked and we decided to continue on Trail A to quest for the river valley and In Yan Teopa rock. The river bottom was very cool with lots of interesting textures, tree roots, and even bones. We saw fish bones and the bones of a medium-sized mammal. I took lots of pictures of the interesting swirls in the trees. This is one of my favorites with the texture of the rock next to a worn tree root:
The trail to the river valley bottom/shoreline was a one way path and would have required significant backtracking, so we made the call to hike the 0.3 miles up the shoreline to the next path from the river bottom back up to our trail. We thought it was a safe decision since the mood of the boys seemed exuberant and full of adventure like this picture of Ethan captures:

However, that it might not have been the wisest decision. The walking was not easy and the boys started to get very grumpy. The path back up to Trail A was not the easiest and compounded the grumpiness as evidenced in this photo:
Note: Alexander did find a cool rope along the shoreline!

Remember, our goal was to make it to In Yan Teopa rock which was another .7 miles away. We were all hot and sweaty and the boys were super grumpy (as demonstrated above). The distance doesn't sound like much, but the terrain was difficult and the ups and downs on the bluff made it really tough. Before we could see the rock, we had to climb out of the river valley and up the bluff. It had at least 5 switchbacks which means it was steep, long, and tiring!!!! By the time we were nearing the top, all of us were saying, "This rock better be worth it." At one point during a quick rest, I looked at a big rock near us and said, "That better not be the damn rock" and Alexander replied with "Where's the damn rock?" Ooops!! LOL!!! Well, the rock was worth it. I was leading the line, turned on a switch back and gasped. This is what we saw:

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