Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Day 70-The Kindness Of Strangers And The Beauty Of Nature

Getting up early in the morning always sounds more appealing at night than in the morning. The weather has turned into summer rapidly and I need to start getting up earlier to beat most of the heat. Climbing up Brush Mountain first thing was brutal. I read there was a bench at the top and I couldn't wait to sit on it, every false peak brought me hope and then frustration. Was this bench nonexistent? I would get to what I thought was the top, see a flat spot and think "this would be a perfect place for a bench, but nope." Finally, soaked with sweat I got to what looked like an old overgrown road and there was the bench! I sat down, and ate some trail mix enjoying this luxurious time off of my feet and a rest for my back. Next up on the itinerary was the Murphy Memorial; I walked up the overgrown old road which was an easy walk to a blue blaze to the memorial. I left my pack and headed up to it. Having service I texted Felix, Papa, and Greg happy Father's Day while enjoying the memorial and view. It's so fascinating knowing these gems are out hidden in the woods. Last for the day was Dragon's Tooth and I hoped I would get there with enough time to enjoy it and not rush to camp. Dexter and I hiked up the endless rock boulders, it was difficult and hot. I came up on the trail to him talking with a day hiker couple who were looking for the Boyscout Trail and had missed it. Dexter has a GPS so he was trying to help them out, I sat and had a little snack. As I passed the couple the words, "oh man, you guys smell like laundry it smells so good-and don't tell me what I smell like" came out of my mouth. It's funny how you pick up on those things when you don't have the luxury of wearing clean clothes everyday, showering, and deodorant. Yeah I know it's gross, but there's not much you can do about it. After leaving the couple we had about 45 more minutes before we were there-I thought we were 10 so that sucked. Finally seeing a blue blaze I was relieved. I left my pack and headed down the boulder path with the remainder of Neville's bread and peanut butter. I got to the monolith and they were massive, but I knew there had to be more to it and I was right. I heard voices, looked up at the rock and saw people up there, how do I get up there?! I walked around the rock and looked up-didn't look possible. Walked around another way and the same. I asked someone if they knew how those people got up there and he brought me the way I originally looked at. I shouted up to the people asking how they got up-they explained they kinda shimmied up the sides of the rock, great. This was happening though. I put the bread in one pocket and the peanut butter and spoon in the other. I placed one hand and foot on the left rock wall and the other on the right and worked my way up-one guy asked if I needed help, but politely I declined. I got up and devoured my bread while answering questions inbetween bites. A father and son in his twenties left shortly after I arrived, leaving just two college guys. I talked to them while they told me what they go to school for, and I explained some of my hike and more about myself. They hope to hike the trail after they graduate, and for now they just pick a place every Sunday and go for a hike which I thought was pretty awesome. One of the guys pulled out a kind bar and started to snack on it, half jokingly I asked if he had another-that I need it more than he does. He didn't have another, but with no hesitation offered me his. Then his buddy pulled out a variety of Cliff, Kind, Probars and gave all 5 of them to me. His friend still offering up the one he was eating saying I probably needed it more than he did, I thanked them and told him to finish it. David and Harrison I learned were there names after they offered an unopened bottle of water to me as well. The quarky part of this whole thing is this: on the way up I said to Dexter, I hope to find a day hiker I can get some water up there from since it is so hot and my filter has been acting up. Ask and you shall receive. These two guys were so easy to talk to, down to earth, and friendly. Coming from New England, I feel like if this scenario was up in Connecticut I wouldn't have had such a giving experience. I am so grateful for the snacks I received since I had just told my mom the day before I lacked snacks from the last box she sent to Woods Hole and here I get snacks and water from them. You can see below a photo of Harrison, myself, and David. Big thanks to you both; great trail magic for sure and I hope you guys meet fantastic people get as great experiences along the way like I have. I climbed to the near top of the tooth for a photo and the guys headed on their way shortly after. I decided my time was well spent and followed not too long after them to make sure my pack was still there. I got up to my pack, put away my peanut butter and thought I saw Harrison down the south side of the trail. I went to go in the top of my pack to get some medicine to finish off my day and noticed a little gift from David and Harrison. The note attached read, "It was great to meet you. Good luck on your hike." It is such an amazing feeling to witness such giving people. These guys are only a few years younger than me and here they are going above and beyond for a stranger they just met 45minutes ago. It made me smile. I continued north down the trail not thinking how challenging going down the similar rocks I had to come up was going to be. And then I saw the metal rebar-shits about to get serious. We were planning on camping at the gap about a mile away but I sweat as much going down those boulders as going up. Finally getting to the flat grassy gap below I set up my tent with Buckaroo and Red Eagle already set up. There was no wind in the gap and I was so thirsty. I made Gatorade out of the water the boys gave me and started to gather my dinner together. I overheard Buckaroo telling someone on the phone someone gave him 1.5 L of ice cold water; after he hung up the phone, I said not to be eavesdropping but did I hear you say someone gave you 1.5L of water? He verified and I asked if I could have 2 cups to make dinner with. He said take .5L which is about the same and I thanked him immensely. That's the one thing about stealth camping, most times no water. Even if there were, it would almost be useless to me. I have been thankful to use plenty of giving people's pumps, Sawyer squeezes, or just given water. I wasn't even hungry for how thirsty I was, but I ate and then poured some Gatorade powder straight in my mouth and sucked on it-that will still work right? We all sat and chatted a bit and Red Eagle gave Dexter some music pointers since he is a music teacher, and Dexter showed him how to play the ukulele and then I called it a night and headed to my tent. I knew tomorrow would be another early morning and my awaited McAfee Knob was then too!

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