Sunday, January 02, 2011

Friendship Camp to Blue Mountain Shelter

Stone floor to a tarp (that's the green tarp wall to the right)

9.6 miles

Sleeping on a bed of rocks last night hurt my hip a bit, I think. But it was far better than sleeping in an inch of standing water, which was the alternative. Yesterday, after my pen ran out of ink, we were huddled in the shelter of the tarp, I was reading, Shadow keeping my feet warm. The rain was pounding down.

Then Shadow stands up, absolutely dripping in water. K, my hiking companion, says: “You better check your tortillas.” I do, and we pull back the sleeping pads, and there’s about an inch of groundwater, just below the ground cloth.

My choice at that point was: hike on with everything I own wet, or devise a solution. We ended up pushing the flat rocks from around the campsite under the walls of the tarp, sweeping away the water, and devising an impromptu stone foundation. It wasn’t that uncomfortable. A lot more comfortable than sleeping downhill, for instance. Or in an inch of water. I felt like Jacob, sleeping on a stone pillow, although I did not dream of angels.

We even built a fire with wet wood, and today almost everything I carried was dry. At least, until I decided to ford a stream with my shoes on. Impatience always makes stupid decisions. Today’s hike was a lot less eventful. Pleasant miles, interesting flute-like fungi, and vibrant green moss. Moss may be my favorite plant. It’s always so green, and it’s involved in very interesting reproduction right now. Every bed of it is topped by miniscule and mysterious growths.

Tonight I sleep in a shelter, with no rain to concern me. Nothing to worry about except ghosts and mice. Oh, and a worry about a return to my home-bound life.

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