Friday, August 12, 2005

Long Big Branch Lean-to 12Aug05 Day 57

Today was a great day yet at the same time it also sucked in ways. I stopped at the gorge and decided to go swimming as we had been told there was excellent swimmng to be had. I may not have stopped if Rooster hadn't already been swimming. The swimming was great and the water was cool enough to be refreshing. I then enjoyed lunch in the sun while drying off. Lunch was a special treat as earlier I had picked up a coke and apple at a trail magic site. Since it was early in the morning and I had just eaten, I decided to just shove it in my pack. After swimming I opened up my pack to that forgotten treasure and was very happy. The trail magic was palced at that specific spot in the trail to welcome/congradulate people on their 500 mile mark. Either for the 500 they had left of that they had just completed.

After the swimming, I had a close encounter of the stinging nettle kind. I stumbled and almost fell into a large patch of it. Luckily I caught myself but I did get a few hairs caught in my hand and leg. Boy does that stuff sting. Eventually the stinging stopped but the mosquitoes and black flies would not let up. Then the rain started to move in. After deciding to push on another 8 miles we cam eto a parking area where Mt. Squid was waiting for us. He is harmless but getting very annoying as he follows us around. He got off the trail because he was bored with it yet he wants to still enjoy the trail experience. He seems to have latched on to our group for some strange reason. If he is still following us around after MAnchester Center we will have to do something about it.

We pulled into the shelter at 9:00. Night hiking in the rain is not fun but was quite the experience. Bad Cheese and I basically set up for the night, ate a cucumber we had given to us for supper then went to bed. We tried to keep the noise down but that is always hard to do. At least we kept it down time-wise to only 30 minutes. I slept poorly as we had done 22 miles and everything hurt. It also didn't help that the guy beside me got up twice during the night to pee then actually got up at 5:00 and was shining his head lamp everywhere. It almost seemed he was trying to make as much noise as possible as payback for our late night entry. He also knocked my crocs and socks on the ground and let them there all night. At least I have dry wools but that was very annoying. I couldn't say anything either as that would not have helped things.

I felt that by getting away from city life that I could get down to basics. Eat, sleep, walk. But it seems that you really can't get away from it all as there are still people to deal with and in interacting, everything is still there. Although most people I hae met have been wonderful people, there have been a few who are jerks. Mostly they are faceless people who make lots of noise in the shelter while you are sleeping or they try to tell you haw to do something as you are abviously doing it wrong. Sometimes it is a guy being condescending towards us women as if they think we either can't do it or shouldn't be here. In the end, trail like can be like city life except with fewer luxuries, that you cherish more fiercely.



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