We’re camped by what looks like a tiny lake in Natchez Trace State Park, and we want to get a hike in before the day is over, so we decide to try to find our way around the lake. It’s easy enough at first as we follow roads through the campground and cabin areas. Then we find a trail that meanders along the lake shore in the oak forest, and that seems fine too.
It’s after we cross the dam that the trail starts to wander more. The forest thickens and gets a little boggy and creepy. We both think of the Blair Witch Project independently. Soon we realize the lake has some unknown number of fingery tendrils along creeks on this side, and the trail goes way up each one of them to get around it. And the tendrils have little tendrils as well. We realize that we are indeed going to see what these woods are like in the dark, without headlamps.
At least we have Ann’s GPS, so we figure we can beeline through the bog toward a road if necessary. Thankfully the trail remains clear enough to follow until it emerges on a road just as it gets really dark. Just as we wander back into camp the heavens open up and pouring rain begins that lasts all night.