After the nights events Flailing and I were unable to sleep, by morning we had a total of a two or so hours of sleep. We were so tired and beat that it was hard to think, hard to concentrate, focus on anything. The problem was we still had to hike out, we had about 20 miles to do and the day was quickly slipping from our grasp. The steep hills with no switchbacks broke me down very quickly as Ayesh hiked with us. He was in such good spirits, that it helped to pull me up the mountain as Flailing and I set small goals for each other. Each rock, downed tree, white blaze, became a goal for us to climb to as we climbed the first mountain. Our lack of sleep had taken its toll, we were spent an unfortunately I wasn’t 20 anymore.
Over the next three miles of ups I felt tortured. The steep climbs pushed my sore tired muscles past their limits and my body to the breaking point. It wasn’t long before I was falling behind and soon after that out of sight from the others. This came to no surprise with the full resupply and the long days before, my body needed an easy day not a hard one to start with. Eventually Earthling would wait for me on one of the long ups to motivate me up the mountain side, having good friends was a definite benefit that day.
The steep climbs slowly gave way to a beautiful view before passing back into the woods over rolling hills. The old logging road for a trail made for easy going and quick feet. Without the need to climb my body could recuperate on the flats as I kept pace with my swift friend. We talked as the heat of the day started to break and the hours became short. making our way over the short hills we came across Flailing sitting on a remarkable bench in the middle of the trail. There he was as regal as ever, looking off into the distance and enjoying the sights. his hand slowly coming to his side on the bench asking us to join him as we approached.
Sitting there we relaxed from the heat and hard day of hiking. All of us were tired and wanted to be done for the day, the only thing was we had to climb down the mountain and head to the hostel in town. An easy feat for sure, yet we only had one headlamp and it was getting dark quick. Making our way over the roots and ever descending trail we passed streams and muddy bogs all the way to the road. Upon reaching the road we were blessed with a clear view of the harvest moon, so orange it looked almost red in the sky.
Over the next mile all we thought of was getting to the shelter as we walked in silence in the dark. Down, down, down the road we walked, over the bridge and finally to a voice calling out to us. The owner of the house beckoned us over, offering cold drinks and a warm place to stay for the night. We cooked and drank sodas till our hearts content, before passing out for a full nights rest. We would have to hitch to town in the morning and it wouldn’t take Flailing and i but ten minutes to get to Hanover.