Monday, August 26, 2013

Sunday in the Shining Rock District

After not a lot of sleep on Friday night, I slept really well Saturday night. The wind was gentle and steady while the temperature dropped into the low 50's for perfect conditions. I woke up just in time to see the sun peak over the mountains.

After a breakfast of plantain blue berry pancakes and bacon, the group was ready to hike back to the trailhead. Matt joked that it was all down hill as we climbed out of the gap.  I told that was like saying that from Clingman's Dome to Katahdin on the AT is all down hill.  There was plenty of down hill but there were several good climbs. The trail itself was narrow with blue berry and black berry bushes on both sides. Unfortunately the berry were not sweet like the ones in the gap. They were also full of bees. Luckily only one person got stung and he said he didn't usually have any reaction. 

About half way down there were two stream crossings. At the first one four of us decided to brave the chilly mountain water and go for a quick swim. A quick dip was all I could manage. It was so cold I hurt in places that I'd rather not hurt ever. 

At the second crossing a couple of the hikers got wet but not by choice. I ended up stepping on a rock just under water but my trail runners usually dry very quick. 

After the crossings we had just over three miles to the cars. I'm not sure where the rest of the group went after the hike but the occupants of my car told me they wanted to stop at the first place with fries, cheeseburgers and 32 ounce cokes.