Petit Jean
April 18, 2003

Like a lot of our trips this spring, this one was totally unplanned and just happened at the spur of the moment. It was Good Friday and I was able to leave work early. I had been eyeing a geocache at Petit Jean State Park along the Canyon Trail near the Blue Hole. Geocaching was in its infancy, and although the location was a two hour drive from home, it was on my list of "nearest caches". I also wanted to see Cedar Falls from below, and I knew that soon the weather would be too warm to make the climb out of that canyon.
Cliff and I lost over an hour due to the traffic being backed up at different spots on I-40. Why they choose to do construction work on a Friday afternoon on a holiday weekend is beyond me. Finally we got off the interstate at Clarksville and took the back way or it might have been sunset before we finally made it.
The scenery along the entire hike was awesome. We saw lots of neat rock formations while making our way down the steep hillside to Cedar Creek. After crossing the footbridge we made a left towards Blue Hole. There were huge boulders everywhere to our right, and many small waterfalls and cascades in the creek to our left. Being in the shadows, it seemed later than it really was, but still I told Cliff we needed to hurry. No problem there - he started running down the trail, and seemed to enjoy it. The trail was wide and flat so I didn't worry. Good thing I was in shape so I could keep up with him!
It was getting pretty dark on the way back so we didn't get to hike up to the falls. This was one of the best trails we've been down, and I look forward to coming back someday.