Hike Difficulty: moderate
Hike Length: 4.26 mi roundtrip
Elevation Gain: 1217 ft
Time: 1 hr 26 mins there, 1 hr 17 mins back
I’ve been doing this hiking thing long enough that I’ve started to get a little cocky. When you’re out in the middle of nowhere with no one else but your dog, you have to rely on yourself if any issues come up. This trip had lots of issues.
I’d explored this area once before when I went to Middle Fork National Recreation Trail #950 a few weeks ago. That day, I initially wanted to reach the Frog Pond trail, but you have to cross a creek and the water had pushed the rocks to make it impassable. Plus, there were these old guys on motorcycles with guns, so I gave up on Frog Pond until this weekend.
When I reached the impassable creek, I told myself in my cockiness that I could move some rocks around and make it passable. It proved to be a bigger job than I thought and I crushed one of my toes with a rock (possibly causing a hairline fracture).
I decided to leave my car behind and begrudgingly put on my water shoes in order to hike over to the trailhead. It was a lot steeper than I anticipated, but I enjoyed the sights and smells. I saw some bees eating poop, which was interesting. It wasn’t long before the trees started to open up and I knew I had reached the flat area where Frog Pond laid.
I set up camp at what looked like a common campsite, so I thought I wouldn’t have any more issues of any kind. After getting everything set up, I decided to take a nap in the shade. About two hours later, I woke up to a lot of buzzing. It had kind of blended into my dreams and I didn’t realize how intense it had become. I looked outside to find that sweat bees had covered my gear, primarily my soaking wet hat.
I sat in my tent for a few minutes, trying to make a plan about what to do next. I decided to move down by the river where I had seen another campsite. I tried to remove bees from my gear before I hauled it down the way, but they ended up following me to my new site. I packed up everything in search of a completely new area to sleep for the night. Luckily, it was mid-afternoon and I had plenty of time to figure it out.
Every time I thought I’d found a new site, I stood there for a few minutes to see if there were any bees. Sure enough, each time I stopped, a bee or two would show up to suck my sweat. I ended up abandoning my mission to camp on this trail and found another campsite — one that was bee-free — down the road.
Now that I’m back home, I’ve learned a lot more about bees that I didn’t know. Sweat bees like the taste of the salt in perspiration (obviously). Yes, if I’d pissed them off, I could’ve gotten stung (though I didn’t). No, they didn’t come from a hive in a tree, but rather hives in tunnels underground (WTF?). Hey, the more you know! Here are the rest of the pictures: