they keep trying, I keep hiking

The Teapublicans - my own Mark Meadows (R-NC) at the head of the effort - are so frightened of the impending success of Obamacare that they are willing to shut down the government. Good luck with that strategy.

Yesterday I was furious at all Tea Party supporters. I really shouldn't let it affect me so much. But, I picked up the latest refill of my antidepressant and took a five-hour hike with Rocko.

We went up the Big East Fork Trail again, and Rocko had miles on his mind. He stayed with the trail, not pausing at the campsites and water access points very often. I started out tired; I had slept all day and most of the night. I also hadn't eaten much, just a couple of cheese sticks. Big mistake.

There were three vehicles at the parking area (a lot for a Thursday) when we arrived, and we passed two active camps on the way in; one had three tents, the next had two. All of them were gone when we came back out. I suspect that the second camp, at least, was a group that had come down from the Art Loeb Trail. There were drag marks leading down to their camp from farther up the trail, as if somebody was getting exhausted and started dragging their pack.

I took the GPS from my car so I could get positional and altitude readings. When I decided to turn around and head back, we were at a campsite located at 35° 20' 13" N, 82° 49' 38" W, at 4085 feet above sea level. That's about 900' above the elevation of my house, but if I continue up the trail (and someday I will) I could climb another 2000'. Someday, man, someday.

A little research online, along with plugging those coordinates into Google Maps, convinced me that the campsite where we turned around - at Greasy Cove Gap - is a relatively easy hike from the Parkway above. That must be how the kayakers get in.

I had been keeping an eye on the sky, since last week we got caught in a downpour while rock-hopping down the riverbed. Suddenly the nice dry rocks were wet and slippery, and we had to cross the river (thank you, wool socks, for staying warm even after I walked through the river). Even so, we got caught in a rain shower again. This time we were on the trail where we were relatively safe. I found a little shelter under a copse of mountain laurels, but eventually the rain started coming through. The sky was getting lighter so I gritted my teeth and headed out into the weather. Of course I didn't have a poncho in my overloaded pack (although I did have long pants, a sweatshirt and some long underwear in case I got stuck out there overnight for some reason), but I do now. Rocko and I go up there at least once a week, and I don't want to get that wet again.

No comments:

Post a Comment