We decided, after trying and failing to wake up early for hiking, to accept that mornings just aren't for us. Hopefully one day we will stop talking about how late we get up. However, because we tried the no alarm technique near the white noise creek with no other people around, we slept until ten and got hiking at 11:30. Way too late. On the way back from privy, Emily slipped into the creek. The day wasn't starting out super well. We also immediately had a near two thousand foot climb to then walk along a ridge. Oh boy.
The first peak, Bald Mountain, was not actually bald. But it was really sunny and hot so the shade was welcome. The next peak, Cole Mountain, was bald and absolutely gorgeous. Seeing that Tyler's brother Cole isn't bald, and calling him absolutely gorgeous would be weird, we will just leave it there.
* Bald Mt.
* Bald Mt.
We hiked down a bit from the peak to get water, which was a .3 side trail through a meadow. We always find spectacular campsites when we need to move on, but just a hundred yards from the spring we found a huge, shaded campsite underneath a giant white pine. Maybe on the next thru hike. Hanging out in the meadow near the water trail was Chopper, Scout, Bagheera, and Savior. We hadn't seen this crew before. Chopper and Savior are brothers going for a triple crown which is something that happens when you hike the Appalachian Trail, the Pacific Crest Trail and the Continental Divide Trail. They completed the PCT in 2009. Scout lived a couple streets over from us, on Day Street, in Somerville. We have yet to learn the mysteries of Bagheera, though.
* Cole Mt.
We hiked, finally, along a nice flat ridge for the rest of the afternoon. However, due to our late start, we were running out of light. It didn't help that there was some ice cream trail magic from Pam, a Waynesboro local. Of course we had to stop because, well, ice cream and she had a cute little dog named Cookie. We wanted to make it to Spy Rock, but we settled for Rock Spring at mile 821.8.
We ate the saffron and chive cous cous from the Amish Cupboard. Man that place rocks. The campground was huge and there was only one other couple tucked into the trees about two hundred yards down the ridge from us. It was extremely quiet and private. Which, when we aren't among tramily members, is the best. Even if we sleep until 10.