Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The next day we packed up camp and set off to find more waterfalls. Our first goal was Spring Camp Falls. The Wisconsin Gazetteer showed a little red line, Camp 7 Road, heading west off of Highway 51. It connected to East Branch Road, which led right to Spring Camp Falls. The book “Wisconsin Waterfalls: A Touring Guide” gave different directions, but they would take us further out of our way. The Gazetteer had never led us astray. Well, maybe sometimes, but it still was more reliable than Mapquest.

Camp 7 Road began as any other gravel road through the woods. But it quickly deteriorated. The tract went straight through a swamp, so when the road was first laid it was a corduroy road. In case you have never heard that term, a corduroy road is made by laying logs across the roadway, especially over wet, lowland terrain. The idea was so that the road was dry, but it made it incredibly rough, and the roughness only got worse over time.

In 1996, this particular road was simply heinous. By the time the logs were coming up under Pat’s Blazer, the lane had become a path, barely wide enough to fit through, branches hanging in front of us and tree trunks encroaching on both sides.

Judy and I got out and started walking the track in order to help Pat drive through. We continually stopped to access the situation, but since it was obvious we couldn’t turn around and backing up was out of the question, we kept slowing crawling forward. We checked the cell phones. Yes, we still had coverage.

“And if we called for someone to get us out of here, how exactly do you think they would do that?” Pat asked logically. She had a point. And we were at a point of no return.

Finally the road, not even an ATV trail by this time, approached a slight incline, at the top of which was dry land and a grassy opening big enough to turn around. Now the question was, do we turn around?

We knew what we had just slogged through, but was it better or worse up ahead? As tired and frustrated as we were, I thought we should leave the Blazer and at least walk the road for a little ways to see if it improved. Pat hated to be pessimistic, but she feared that the trail would get worse, or even suddenly dead end and then we couldn’t even turn around. And Judy? Well, hey, she will have to post a comment, won’t she?

The Waterfalls We Did Find

Gile Falls
Sandstone Falls

No comments: