Summary: 700 miles left!
Silver Hill Campground: 1477.5
Toymakers Cafe Backyard: 1492.3
Total miles: 14.8
Dean started out a little behind us but caught up to us by lunchtime. Patch hardly slept over the night so his cold was not getting better and possibly got a lot worse. To make matters worse, Duck Fart left for the wedding after five miles into the day. Eat an extra piece of cake for us.
It was a humid and warm, but nothing particularly egregious. We climbed a fair number of ups and downs but knew that we had about six miles of flat at the end of the day before a climb up to Mount Prospect. The most ominous conversation of the day, though, was one with a South bounder (SoBo for short, hiker going from Maine down to Georgia) who, to our horror, said he was wishing for rain to resupply some water sources. We are not sure what water sources he was concerned about, but we have never encountered a reliable source even a little close to dry. We told him he didn't have to wish for rain, it would come, belive us, it will come. Of course, it rained later that afternoon, big time.
After our ups and downs, we were making our final descent and the wind and rain started. When we finished and started walking by a couple of corn fields out from under the cover of trees, it started pouring. We had already put on our rain gear, but the water was still cold. It immediately soaked our shoes. It was certainly not what Patch needed to recover.
Earlier in the day, we had thought about stopping at the Falls Village Inn for dinner, now a couple miles away. With the rain, it was a certainty. We made good time on the flats since our shoes were saturated, we simply walked straight through the deep puddles.
At the Inn we found Grant again, Huggy Bear, and Ten. They were going to camp out behind the Toymakers Cafe, since the owners are incredibly nice and also hiker friendly. When the rain died down a bit, Tyler went to Toymakers Cafe to inquire about camping. They had no problem whatsoever. The owner Greg showed Tyler around the beautiful property and said we could camp anywhere. The cafe would also be opening in the morning (they are only open Thursday to Sunday and it is Wednesday evening now).
*Toy makers Cafe
*Taking the soles out for maximum drying
Patch decided he needed real rest time and took a taxi North to Great Barrington to get a hotel room for a couple nights. We planned on catching up with him in a few days.
After eating some expensive food from the inn, we set up camp behind the cafe and chatted with Grant, Ten, and Huggy Bear. We also got a visit from a neighborhood skunk that didn't seem the least bit phased that we were there. It probably eats pretty well off of sloppy hikers. We didn't stay up too late since we were all pushing for big days tomorrow. Grant, for instance, wanted to do a 35 followed by a 40 mile day to get to a town to meet a friend of his. We, as one may surmise, were shooting for more realistic numbers, but big 23 miles all the same. Hopefully Grant survives, good night!