Tobal was first up the cliff and pulled himself onto a wide ledge that wasn't visible from below. He helped Melanie over the edge and they both looked around with interest. There was vegetation since top soil had collapsed from above and fallen down. Trees, shrubbery and vines found footholds in the small layer of top soil and clung desperately to the rock. Near the trees a narrow crack in the cliff face formed a small chimney that could be climbed by pressing the body against one side and gradually working up the remaining fifteen feet to the top. They took off their packs and cut one blanket into strips, braiding it into a short rope they used to lift their packs up the chimney.
Grabbing onto foliage and tree roots Tobal pulled himself out of the rock chimney, helped Melanie out and coiled the rope putting it into his pack. At the top the soil was heavier and the foliage more dense and almost impossible to get through. The ring of foliage gave way to pine trees and the footing got easier. He could see what looked like a clearing ahead and started toward it.
They broke into the open and looked around in wonder at what had obviously been a camp. There were the remains of permanent shelters and kitchen area. Near the river was a large circle ringed with stone seats that must have been used for ceremonies and initiations. Further up a small hill were the remains of a sweat lodge and beyond that a patch of volunteer corn was still coming up in patches after all these years. It must have been fifteen or twenty years since anyone had visited or used the camp.
A large cairn of rocks dominated the middle of the site and covered with offerings. They were a strange assortment of man made objects weathered and destroyed beyond recognition of what they once had been. There was a haunted feeling that struck him and he had the sudden conviction he was looking at a mass grave of those that once lived here.