Near the end of the day I made it to the river crossing where on the other side "The Captain's" house lay. The coolest part of going to the "Captain's" is the method in which you cross the river. I waited for the others to show up and we all crossed one at a time. On the other side we set up our tents and hung out talking until night fell when we all turned in.
Sometime during the night it started raining. When I woke up and broke camp it let off for a bit, but not long after I started hiking for the day it began drizzling. I slogged through the light mist all day and ended pretty early at War Spur shelter. I was just lacking motivation to keep going on so I stayed in the shelter with about four other hikers.
|Catnap and Keiffer Oak|
I stayed at Niday shelter that night where some generous soul left a bunch of beers in the creek for weary hikers. I took two and ate my dinner of re-hydrated mashed potatoes. Before the sun went down the sky opened up and I retreated to my tent to stay dry, there I stayed until dawn.
I descended that mountain only to go right back up another. This one was headed steadily up and then along a rocky ridge. Slowly the rocks got larger and more difficult to negotiate. When the ridge ended it was at an amazing rock ledge called The Dragon's Tooth. I dropped my pack and scaled the rock spire until I was sitting on the highest point.
The path down from The Dragon's Tooth was crazy steep. Going down was a series of large boulders that I had to sit on my butt in order to reach the next foot hold. The process was made much harder by my large backpack that is always throwing my balance off. I was pleased with myself when I reached the bottom and only fell twice. When I emerged from the woods I met up with "Skunkape" and "LeeBob", we decided to go down the road to a hostel for the night. It was nice enough and all, but was no Wood's Hole. It was basically a guy's three car garage that he threw some couches and cots in and allows hikers to crash for the night. I might be bitter because one of his dogs decided to serenade us all night with a song that went something like, "Bow-wow-ow-owwwwwww!!!!" Just when I thought he was done he would start up again with another verse. The song went all night long too. I really do have to hand it to the dog because he had the energy to go on and on and on.
When the roosters started screeching at daylight I knew it was time to go. I packed my stuff up and headed outside. There the dog was sleeping peacefully outside the door. So I got real close and "BOW WOW WOW WOWed" him awake. Then it began to rain.
I headed back out on the trail as the rain lightened up some. It wasn't long until I made it to MaCafee Knob, the place that is supposed to be the iconic photo spot where you sit on the rock ledge under blue skies and gaze thoughtfully into the distance. "Catnap" and I arrived there just in time for there to be no view, just a shapeless cloud. We figured we would hang out up there until it cleared for a moment. Then it began to rain. We retreated from the rock ledge and took cover under some large boulders down the hill a short ways. An hour later the rain let up some and we went back up to the view. The next two hours were spent going, "Yup, I think it is clearing" and then it would rain. "Yup, it's definitely letting up some." Finally around eight o'clock at night we took overcast pictures and headed a mile down the trail in the pouring rain to the nearest shelter.
As I got closer to town it got so loud that it was hard to hear my footsteps. I passed a couple of power lines and thought that maybe that was the cause, but as I moved away from them I kept hearing it. When I popped out into town and met my father, the sounds of the busy road had drowned it out. Hmmm. Then it began to rain.