We made it! As Mike told my dad, nature threw its shallowest streams and lightest rains at us and we prevailed. It was a hard hike with a heavy pack and using trekking poles for the first time. But all the equipment worked and we stayed warm and dry all night long.
The scenery was gorgeous. I wish I hadn't been so afraid of falling in the river so I could have enjoyed it a bit more. The trail is little-used and not blazed. You basically go upriver to the falls and downriver to the parking lot. The trail goes along the river, then abruptly ends, and you have to wander around in the river a bit, sometimes crossing it, to find the trail again. This happens several times.
Once I got my feet wet and got over not wanting to get them wet, the hike was a bit easier. After a while I figured out how to use the poles to my advantage, too. And while my pack wasn't so uncomfortable that it made me sore, it was heavy enough to change my center of balance and I was still struggling with that on the hike out this morning. Balance isn't my strong point anyway.
Mike has a new camp stove, and it was awesome. We fried potatoes and onions last night and heated up sausage and beans. It was such a good camping dinner. This morning we made hot cereal and Mike tried out a new doodad that turns his waterbottle into a coffeepot. It was great.
Now we are lounging at home, exhausted now that we've had the chance to stop and think about it. But I'm glad I did this night out in the woods. It was a good test of our gear and it made me even more eager to climb Kilimanjaro.
We forgot the battery for the camera, so there's no photographic evidence of our trip, unfortunately.