Miss Janet dropped us off at Iron Mountain Gap and we did our final photographs with her. She loves to have lots of pictures of the hikers she helps along the way. This is just one of the many qualities to love about Miss Janet. Hating long goodbyes, I set out unnoticed and unseen. I prefer it this way, silently slipping away, a memory perhaps, no prolonged goodbyes. Down the trail I hiked, trying my best to put some distance between me and the others. I knew the terrain wouldn’t be too bad, being how late it was, I didn’t want to go to far. On my first beak at at the top of a small ridge line I scouted my book.
Seeing that there was only one real view I planned on doing the short seven miles to the view and finding camp close by. I had yet to get a sunset view let alone camp at a view spot and I was going to do it. My brother had become increasingly infuriating over the past two days and I need some serious space from him. Brooding over his actions I didn’t realize how fast I was going till I reached the view at 3 in the afternoon. I had done 7 or 8 miles in just under 2 and half hours uphill. There easy no enjoying the scenery it was just one foot in front of the other, stomping out my anger.
Arriving at Little Rock Knob, I stood and out amongst the mountains. Just like that my feelings of anger, resentment, bitterness, all melted away. This was one of the reasons why I was hiking, to see what others had only seen in photographs. I was going to camp as close as I could and catch this sunset. As luck would have it, there was a campsite not 20 yards further up the trail. Large enough to fit six or seven tents, I chose the best spot and started a fire. Gathering as much birch bark, twigs, grass, and other small things, my fire roared in seconds. I was reminded of a stupid quote my brother had said multiple times as I made my small fire, “White man build big fire, sit far way. Indian build small fire, sit close. Both stay warm”
Feeding my fire every so often I set up my camp, tent, gear, and prepared dinner. Just then a young couple came by and we started to chat. They were out for a day hike and were looking for views and or waterfalls. They were in luck because it was close and it was the view was the only one for seven or so miles. We chatted for a bit and upon thier return, continued our conversation. They were the only people I saw before five that evening. My brother and Honey Bee passed by, followed shortly by a few other day hikers. It was almost six when Gadabout and T-bird came up to camp. Having the same thought they set up camp right next to me. Booyah, just then Phoddo showed up, we had met him at Miss Janet’s and he was a pretty cool dude. If he was here where was the rest of his group? Just like that one by one over the next thirty minutes they all showed up.
Here I was thinking I wouldn’t see anyone for the entire day and I was surrounded by my friends and trail family, a truly perfect place to camp. We all caught up and ate, each of us with the intention of catching the sunset at the view. Finishing our dinner we all hiked down together to the small open rocky outcropping. Each of us camera in hand ready and hopeful for a great show for once. Just as the sun came down, it happened, a truly beautiful array of colors on our cloudless sky. What a way to end the day, surrounded by friends taking in one of the best things to catch on the trail.