Day 37 -April 13 2017- 16.6 miles – Max Patch to Deer Park Shelter
I fell asleep to the chirping sounds of frogs and in the morning I woke to the sound of my alarm. I wanted to make sure I didn’t miss sunrise. I could hear some people talking quietly outside my makeshift shelter. When I popped my head out I could see hikers gathering on the east side of the mountain to watch the sunrise. I thought, “These are my kind of people”, and got out of my sleeping bag.
Zeus, Wolfie, Tommy Two Times, and Stoat were either up or in the process of getting up. We watched the sun rise while eating breakfast.
Zeus, Wolfie, Stoat and I planned to hike a 16.6 mile day to allow for a 3 mile hike into Hot Springs the following day. It would be our longest day so far. It was a pretty sunrise and we found ourselves lingering a little longer than we should have. By 8:15 we were back on the trail.
Over the course of the day we hiked on and off with Zeus and Wolfie. I was nice to hike with people we knew again. The last time we did that was in the very beginning of the trip and felt like a long time ago. Stoat and I started to be called ” The Jersey Boys” when both of us were being addressed at the same time. Since both stoat named ourselves it was cool to have other people come up with one for the both of us.
When we got to camp we found a spot where the four of us could camp somewhat near each other. While Stoat and I went to refill our water, Wolfie decided to hang his bear bag.
He needed a heavy object to help throw his rope over a branch. He decided one of his crocs would do the trick. He tied his rope to a croc and threw it over a branch where it promptly got stuck. Zeus said Wolfie climbed up the almost limbless tree like a monkey and unstuck his croc. He was not as graceful on the way down. He wound up sliding most of the way down. He wasn’t wearing a shirt and his chest got pretty scraped up.
When Stoat and I got back we all had dinner. Wolfie had a massive amount of food. It was astonishing anyone could eat that much. He said he was determined not to get scrawny on the trail. I could understand that. I had worked in construction for quite a while before the trail and I could feel my upper body strength fading.
We started a campfire and hung out for a while. Stoat and I had hiked our longest day yet and I was soon ready for bed. That night I set up my hammock without the rain tarp so I could look at the sky while I lay there.
I fell asleep to the soft shimmering glow of firelight, the swaying of the trees above my head, and the stars far away.