Another month, another camping trip, another "rematch." On Wednesday, Paul (my March camping companion) and I set out for Stephens Pond, in the Blue Ridge Wilderness Area outside of Blue Mountain Lake. It's along the Northville-Placid Trail, so I'd been through here last September. In fact, Lawrence and I had planned to stay in this very same lean to, but found it already occupied...which contributed to what turned out to be an almost 17 mile day. I was taking a chance I'd find it empty this time. And I did.
We had a lovely 3.7 mile hike in to Stephens Pond. It's definitely still spring in the woods, with lots of bunchberry flowers and the occasional lady's slipper along the path.
We arrived about 6:30pm and happily discovered that the lean to is in good shape and we'd have the place all to ourselves.
The lean to was moved up from the edge of the pond some years ago, but it was well worth the short trip down to the water to take in the views.
The evening was accompanied by a mighty chorus of spring peepers (with a little help from some owls), the gorgeous twinkling of stars beyond number, and a roaring fire which Paul rather gleefully tended.
Just as surely as evening came, morning followed.
(True confession: I crawled right back into my sleeping bag for another hour and a half after getting up to take these sunrise shots.)
We were in no great hurry to return to civilization, so we read for awhile down by the water's edge. Paul enjoyed a second cup of coffee, and I a second cup of tea next to our (much smaller) rekindled fire.
Stephens Pond treated me much better the second time around, and we left early Thursday afternoon a couple of very happy campers.
Six months. Six nights out. Six more to go.