We woke up a little with the idea that we might make the 20 miles to the Bears Den Hostel. The weather was hot and the trail threw some pretty difficult climbs at us. I was hiking with Dirty Duck, Mishap, Catfish, and Hank. The difficulties were such that it was clear to me that we wouldn’t make the Hostel.
We stopped for a rest at a good sized camping area and encountered what looked like a large family dressed in frontier looking clothing. Even the four and five year olds were carrying good sized packs. It turns out that they were a family from a nearby commune/cult. They were on a “recruiting” trip and really wanted us to come back with them for a free meal and stay at their compound. They plied us with cookies and a strange fruit tea while explaining the peace and love of their commune. Despite having enjoyed several cookies and three glasses of their “kool aid”, we opted to hike on.
Later in the evening, Mishap caught up with the rest of us while we were scouting out camping sites. She was hell bent on hiking the last three miles to the hostel so she could shower and catch up with Sun and Scout. It was already nine o’clock and attempting that would require night hiking in difficult terrain. I lobbied hard for stopping and Mishap charged off in a huff and said that we can just not get showers then. Hank, Catfish, and I were more than happy to do just that. Dirty Duck, on the other hand, has been “pink blazing” Mishap and became agitated about how we should follow her to the hostel. He became so insistent that hank and Catfish finally relented and we set out at 930 as darkness descended. I made a last observation about how fucking stupid this is and how someone was going to get hurt.
The hiking was treacherous down hill descents over rocks in the dark. On separate occasions both Duck and I fell suffering minor bumps and bruises. By the time we made it to the bottom it was pitch black and even Duck had had enough. It was too dark to find a camping spot so we spread out in the woods and pitched in tick ridden piles of brush. Then the thunder storms came. Moral of the story? Do not follow pink blazers whose brains and hormones have been pickled by two much time n the woods. Happy trails.