We drove south away from the lake, stopping every time we came to a trail to one of the many waterfalls. I think we made four stops and saw five major falls and several smaller ones. I could probably figure out which falls are pictured in each of these photos, but I bet you don’t really care.
The first three falls were at the bottom of the canyon, and we had to walk down, and UP, long, long flights of stairs. My daughter stayed in the car and played games on Karen’s phone while we explored in what was now a driving rain.
The rain finally let up a little when we got to the final two falls, so we took our time and took more photos.
We planned on cooking supper at our campsite, but when we got back shortly before dark, it was still raining hard. Anticipating the rain, I had pushed all the stuff in our tent toward the middle and stacked it on top of our air mattresses. Everything was dry, but there were a few small puddles along one wall where the rain and wind was hitting. I knew we had to find a solution, so we piled back into the car and drove the few miles into Silver City.
The only store in town was a gift shop that also advertised itself as an outfitter. This was an amazing place. It was the size of an average living room, but there was more stuff packed into that space than I could believe — souvenirs, clothing, camping supplies, food, toys. I think they had at least one of everything. We were wandering about when a man asked if he could help us. I told him we were looking for plastic tarps. He said, “Oh, they’re back in that corner.” I looked where he was pointing and saw a shelf of sweatshirts against the back wall and a display of stuffed animals along the side wall. Between the two was a space of perhaps five inches. I peeked through the gap and saw a few packages tucked in the far corner at about knee height. I reached in as far as I could possible reach and pulled out the exact tarp we needed. I could have walked around that store for an entire day without finding them.
While we were in the store, a CD was playing — Bear Tunes for Kids. A guy in a low, gravelly voice was singing “I can’t wait … to hibernate.” It impressed Nate so much that he memorized most of the lyrics. Feel free to ask him to sing it for you.
Back at camp, we managed to slip our new tarp up under the canopy to overlap the tarp we already had in place. We let it drop down and cover the weather-side of the tent, and that solved that problem for the duration. But it was obvious we weren’t going to be doing any cooking. A group of hikers set up nearby in the rain. They couldn’t get their fire going, so Karen gave them some of our still-large pile of wood.
We piled into the car once again and drove to the only restaurant within 30 miles — the buffet at the AmericInn Hotel.
Note to self: Next time you eat at an AmericInn Hotel, buy a crummy $7 cheeseburger instead of blowing way too much money on a crummy $14 buffet. But we had a great conversation and a good time. It was still early when we got back to camp, but there wasn’t much to do in the rain in the dark, so we went to bed.