The morning was very soggy and we were still in pain. The talk around the breakfast squat was of how can we get back to our car and still be alive. We did talk of shortening our trip, of calling Wes to come and get us ASAP. Then we decided to give it another day and see what happened.
This day we were supposed to walk to Hawk Mountain Shelter, which is 7.4 miles away. We are still in camp farting around and moaning at 10:30 am. We didn’t realize that time was of the essence. We finally broke camp at 11:30 am. The young couple and dog broke late too. I had a run in with the dog when I was afraid he was going to lift his leg on my tent. I ran him off.
The trail to Hawk Mountain Shelter was great for the first part of the day. We meandered through an ancient Hemlock forest and it was fairly level, not so much up and down. We believed the tough part was over. We rejoiced. Later on that day we realized that was not the case. The Hemlocks were grand and there was Rhododendron and Mt. Laurel as well as bright orange Flame Azaleas.
After crossing Stover Creek we decided to stop for lunch at 2:30. The creek had a bridge over it and it looked so refreshing. We had been unable to bath the night before because of the rain, so we wanted to splash in the creek. Marsha and I got into our swim suits and went to the creek. Emma started the stove for coffee and lunch.
The creek was ice cold and we whooped and hollered as the water swirled around our aching feet and we splashed it up onto our hot bodies. I swooped up large amounts of water and got my entire body wet. It felt great! We got up on the bank to lather our hair and bodies, using our water bags to rinse off.
After our bath we went back to the large moss covered log which served as our table and chairs and had our lunch. I believe I had soup that day. While we were eating, Emma went to the creek for her wash. It was a great lunch break and we felt renewed. It didn’t take the mountain long to take that fresh feeling awayl