Posted on 16 Apr 2022 by Steve Markham
Devin and Drew invited us on a Spring backpacking trip. Drew wanted to go to a mountain. I saw an opportunity to see a less cloudy view from the summit of Crane and suggested we go there. It was WONDERFUL. And rainy and snowy and steep and slick and perhaps a little chilly. But mostly WONDERFUL.
We met at the exit 12 park and ride and caravaned/carpooled up, arriving at the trailhead shortly after noon. Andy and Nancy have had colds, so we were pleasantly surprised when Andy showed up, too.
Lewis, Adele, and Janet were planning to tent, so they had sleeping pads strapped onto the backs of their packs. I thought it looked adorable, but it did make some of the rocks tricky for the kiddies, who felt like they were tipping backward.
The site I stayed near in March was taken (by a rather large group of people, at least 4 tents), so we headed around the pond looking for the other two sites.
After about two hours of hiking, we found our site!
We set up tents and hammocks, and then some of us hiked up to the summit. Janet stayed behind with Lewis and the girls. We hiked halfway around the pond to get to the trail up to the summit. I saw Janet from across the pond, and waved to her. She waved back!
It took about 45 minutes to get to the summit from camp.
There are lots of views near the top, and we hiked from one to the next. At times the wind was strong enough to blow you over if you weren’t careful with your footing.
At this point, Devin, Drew, and Kyle went left (the way we came) while Andy, James, and I went right. The Thunderforest map doesn’t show a path around the pond, but the older CalTopo maps do. We were hoping to meet them back at camp, and to find the third tent site along the way.
After tent site #3, the trail got a little harder to follow, and we ended up on some hills.
Yes, you read that right, the end of the trail. We hunted around to see how to get to camp with backtracking, but in the end, we backtracked. The next morning we some some people fishing off the island in the previous picture. We wondered how they got there. A trail we missed? A canoe? When they were done, they walked through the water at the base of the cliffs we were on when I took the earlier picture. Maybe there’s a submerged trail, or maybe bushwhacking is easier with waders on:)
Dinner was alfredo chicken with carrots and broccoli, and it was yummy. Then Kyle roasted marshmallows and Janet prepared s’mores. It was too cold for the chocolate to melt, but still a delightful treat. I think the party wound down around sunset at 8, and everyone was in bed by 8:30. Except me. I enjoyed some quiet alone time.
I woke up a little before 7. I often sleep better in the woods than at home, and this was one of those times. I could hear Drew talking to Devin (Devin was presumably responding, but in a quieter voice), but none of my kiddies. I went hunting. Kyle appeared asleep, though perhaps he was awake and still. Camille was definitely asleep. Janet and Lewis were quietly chatting, and Adele was sound asleep right next to them. I think we started breakfast around 8. Hot cocoa, and then pancakes (Sorry Janet, again, that I forgot your oatmeal). Eventually scrambled eggs, too.
We got a few drips Friday afternoon, but nothing too serious. The forecast called for rain after 5pm, and most of this morning, too, so we were happy that yesterday was dry. The morning was cold, and the rain, though still light, was steadier.
Drew had an Easter egg hunt to go to at the barn where he takes horse riding lessons, so we packed up and headed out. We were shooting for 10, and hit the trail by 11, so that’s not too bad:)
We got to the cars a little before 1 and had lunch on the ride home. James rode with us to the park and ride so that Devin and Drew could head straight home. My next trip is Monday night, to Black, and then the whole family goes to Assateague on Wednesday. I love camping season!
James shared some of his pictures, and I can’t resist adding a few of them.