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Spray Falls by KingStephenArthur Spray Falls by KingStephenArthur
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6:10 p.m. Entered a trailhead that should take us to Spray Falls. After being told the hike was about two miles, I estimated it would be a 90 minute hike there and back. The trails were very scenic, large naturally formed rock structures would be the main attraction along the way to our destination. Most of the structures formed caverns large enough to provide shelter for several people, or even a family of bears. I tried to make the best timing I could in hopes that I'd be able to rest at the destination, watch the sunset and grab some amazing photos. The difficult terrain that lied ahead would have other plans for me. I felt like I was getting closer to Spray Falls, I could feel it. I decided to check the time, what had felt like 30 minutes ended up being over an hour, it was 7:20. I put my head down and picked up my pace. Only faith driving the thought that my destination was indeed ahead of me, and that I was not lost in the middle of nowhere. The trail continued along the shoreline of lake superior, steep hills and valleys tested your determination. Jagged rocky cliffs stared you dead in the eyes as you tip-toed across a narrow path, the reward would be a beautiful outlook over Lake Superior from atop a rocky overhang. It felt as though I would keep walking forever, never going anywhere in particular. Until I came to another rocky overhang jutting out into the great Lake Superior. I crossed my fingers that this would finally be the one that would show me my destination, and it was. It is the picture you are viewing right now. Finally seeing what I was after made the whole trip worth it. Only that I would not be able to enjoy it for long, for when I looked at the clock it read 8:12. Two hours later we had reached our goal, and the unfortunate realization that if we wanted to make it out of the forest before dark we would have to leave the moment we got there. We never made it all the way to the falls. I snapped some photos and then headed back, a race against the Sun.
I did not get the sunset picture I had wanted, can you imagine this shot with a beautiful sunset in the background? It would in fact turn out to be a beautiful sunset that night also, one that would escape the eternal grasp of my camera. The Sun lit the trail perfectly as we walked back, the forest began to glow as it was showered in golden light. But there was no time to stop, we are in bear-country, and it is dinner time. Every hill and valley that haunted me on the way here became my enemy once again. We seemed to be making better timing on the way back, but it was not enough to beat the Sun, the Sun always wins. The mosquitoes grew even thicker than before, bug spray had no effect. Just after 9:00 p.m. the sky still lent us it's light but inside the forest there was none. The birds no longer sang, the wind no longer rustled the trees, just silence and darkness. Irrationality would prove to be the toughest obstacle of this journey. Every little noise stopped me in my tracks, my steps became soft and calculated, though that wouldn't stop me from snapping a twig. There were moments when I truly believed I'd become bear food. Another hour of convincing myself the noises I was hearing were deer and chipmunks would pass before I finally began to recognize large rock structures that indicated we were getting closer. Maybe 30 minutes more, but it was the caves I was dreading the whole time. I whipped out a flashlight and tip-toed to the first cave, nothing. I never felt so relieved. The last few caves would yield the same result, until finally after an hour in the dark I could hear human voices and see fires at the campsite where we began. It was 10:10 p.m.

lol, I'm a hiking noob.
Bears do inhabit these forests, but they were probably not as big of a threat as it seemed in my head at the time. This little hike was an awesome experience and I wanted to attempt to do it justice with a story.

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Submitted on
June 26, 2013
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