After sleeping in the Blood Mountain Cabins I wasn’t quite rested,the sound of rain reminded me of mice and kept me up most of the night. My shakedown had gone well the day before and I was eager to mail out the the three items Pretzel had suggested, as well as the winter gear I knew I wouldn’t need. Caveman and I were equally as eager to get breakfast going for The Pod. With all good things they have there time and then it’s gone. I was a bit sad to know this was our last meal together for a while.
The Newlyweds were going off on some more of their honeymoon, the girls were being surprised by Mellanie’s boyfriend coming to town, Dutchy had enjoyed his day of relaxation, and Kevin was eager to get some solo hiking in. Kevin and Dutchy went out first thing that morning, I was sad to see Dutchy go, hopefully we will meet at trail days. Kevin as focused as ever letting hurry, forgetting his extra food, I wouldn’t find this till hours later. We ate and enjoyed the feast Andrew and Caveman prepared.
The Newlyweds and the girls were gone by the time I got back inside from calling home. We’ll see them again I hope. For now it was just the three of us. We all packed up when I found Kevin’s food my day went array, now I’d have to hike it to him on this much needed zero day. Caveman was looking at gear and Andrew was getting a shakedown when I walked back into Mountain Crossing to mail out my stuff. I spoke with them for a bit before heading out. This was the first time I have hiked solo in a long time. It has always been Roland, Alli, and myself.
I climbed the first hill, passing only a few slack packers coming the opposite direction. The mood was eerie and empty, there were no sounds outside of the tricke of water hitting the ground from the tree limbs. The fog so thick, looked like a blanket of white hiding anything and everything from view. So think in fact only a few feet were visible for most of the trek. The air heavy and damp gave way to a few short showers, but somehow my clothes stayed dry. The unearthly atmosphere and solo traveling made for a very quiet day. I hiked past birds and small animals within reach, yet hidden from the view for some reason. I felt like a ghost wandering the lands, seen and unseen, caught between this world and the next. I was given a bit of a surprise though. Just as I was feeling drained and tired I came across a fallen log with a lone Starburst sitting a top, this Starburst had been left for someone to find and I was thankful it was me. No Starburst will ever taste as sweet and as juicy as that one.
My anterior ligament in my knee had been bothering me and hiking wasn’t something I had planned on doing that day. I hoped that when I found Kevin we could take a zero day and rest. Passing views and ridges the world was only my bubble for the time being, just those few feet around me as I hiked. Coming down the last hill I found Kevin at Tesnatee Gap. We talked for a bit and it was decided to head to town and grab some real food and rest. Trying every way to call a shuttle, we found no signal anywhere. Hiking about a half way up the road we got lucky and were able to get a call out. Shuttle booked we descended the curvy, winding road back to the gap. I pulled away from Kevin as he trodden on, snapping a picture of the moving mountain fog and this lone hiker walking and long the road.