Northern Loop Trail, Part 2 of 6

Zooming in on that saddle that leads to Elysian Fields.

Paul at Windy Gap.

Ellen at Windy Gap.

Ellen at the natural bridge and Lake Ethel.

Paul at the natural bridge and Lake Ethel

Our camp site at XNOR. Since we couldn't get a reservation at any campsite near Lake James, we were assigned to camp in the cross country area designated as XNOR (it stands for the cross country area in the northern part of the park). When the ranger pointed it out on the map, it looked like no problem. What we didn't know until we tried to find a campsite there was that all of XNOR is tilted up at 40 degrees. Not only that but it was going to be dark soon and we didn't have the time or the energy to do a lot of looking. We settled for this big tree with debris piled up against it and we made a sort-of-level platform just barely big enough for our tent.

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