Thursday, May 3, 2012

Charons Garden

Saturday morning we went to the vc to go on one of the short walks of the refuge.  Since nobody showed for that one, we were encouraged to join this one...the last one for the year.  We were unprepared for an arduous hike, but they were very convincing...they had plenty of water and snacks.  This is the Charons Garden Wilderness Hike and we just had to do this one..."Oh no, you can't do it by yourselves, it's too dangerous."  In this photo is the sign up area.  Two people canceled making it possible for us to go.  They will only take 26.

Here we are at the start of the trail, and I'm wondering if we didn't get in over our heads.  We just had to do this one!

This is the trip leader in the foreground.  The big boulder is what they call a guardian angel.  

Now we come to the "Valley of Boulders."  This was the dangerous part of the hike.  We all made it through here just falls.

The two boulders on the upper left are called the apple and the pear.  You have to use your imagination here.

Here we are in the "Boulder Room."  I don't know why we took our binocular because this was a hike and the leader pretty much kept us going.  There was little time to get photos much less bird!!!

But I WILL take time for the flowers.  This is a spiderwart.  The leaders did not take time to talk about the flowers or the birds.  They don't know them and they admitted that.  This was just a hike!!!

One of the cacti...will have to do research on what kind it is, but they were all over the place.

Just a beautiful landscape shot of the trail.  We have a group that is lagging behind.  Now I have a chance to get more pictures.  This particular trail, Charons Trail, is considered the strenuous one and we did lose half of our hikers...they took a short cut back to the bus about here.

Now we go down to a waterfall.  This is where one of the gentlemen in the group falls and rolls about 20 feet.  He falls a second time.  He came up with only boulderrash on his elbow.  I'm sure he was quiet sore the next morning.  This was a refreshing stop.  Oh, I must add here, there were Canyon Wrens singing so beautifully.  I hadn't heard them since our trip to Big Bend in Texas.

This is where we ask for a bottle of water.  That was all we needed the entire trek, and they did have extra water just like they said they would.  I felt bad we weren't prepared for this kind of hike, but they did supply us.

Notice how everyone is looking they see the beauty all around them?  Some of these ladies are from Fort Sill.  We are pretty tuckered out by this time.

We finally come upon Post Oak Lake.  

To think we had come through those mountains in the background. The slab of rock is called Elk Mountain.  The trail took an elevation change of 590 feet!!

King of the Mountain.  We are at the end.  You will notice our two empty water bottles.  I was so proud of Wallace, he didn't even complain about his feet hurting!!

THUMBS UP...HIGH FIVES...we made it!!!  We are ready for that bus ride back...with air conditioner, as it was awfully hot out there.

This sign was at the end of our hike as we hiked it backwards.

We were so glad we got to do this one with a group and a leader.  He did keep us at a pretty fast pace though.  We left at 9:00am and returned about 1:00pm.  It totaled 3 and a half miles in distance.

Until next time...


  1. Okay Carolyn... I don't think your blog was supposed to be funny, and I sure wasn't laughing at you, but somehow... I think you and Wally could have given this hike a lot better... sure, it would have taken longer, but y'all could have stopped and smelled the roses.... well, at least you could have stopped and looked around you instead of looking down at your feet to make sure you wouldn't stumble... maybe seen a bird or something..... y'all averaged over one mile an hour over really treacherous terrain! You need to educate those folks!!!!

  2. love hearing the Canyon Wrens singing - heard our first of the season at Petroglyph National Monument outside of Albuquerque today...

  3. Carolyn ya wear me out just reading your blog! Looks like ya all had a good time despite the not looking around to see "stuff"! Take care!

  4. I believe I saw your group at 10:50 Saturday morning as you passed below and South of me. I was the lone hiker/climber up Treasure Cove (SSW side of Elk Mtn.) When the leader spotted me he pointed out that I was violating the first rule of hiking by being alone and then proceeded to tell the story of Dr. Mitchell who lost his life a few yards further up where his friend later installed chains to help future hikers. I could not see your faces, but the acoustics allowed me to hear everything from "There's a man up there" to your next destination being one of the caves. I have a few photos(camera phone only) of your group from my perspective if you're interested. Glad you enjoyed the hike! paul_dls at hotmail

  5. Hi Paul. Yes, I remember seeing you up there by yourself. I was the one who waved, but you did not wave back. I was concerned for you and glad to know you are okay. How did you know about our blog? Welcome aboard.

  6. No worries, we all have to hike our own hike and on that day mine was solo. :) As you'll likely note from the images I sent, seeing arms was a bit of a challenge, perhaps waving a flag or a hat would have caught my eye.