Sat, Nov 29 2003 - Difficult Day Hike on AT (PennMar High Rock) (View Original Event Details)|
|Participants:||Wendy Wickham, Jesse Allen, Brian Loughery, Jason Craver, Laura Paszkiewicz, elliott hurwitz, Joanne Milne, Rob Copeland, Allyson Green, Tracy Ward Wright, stephen pheiffer, Laura Loughery, Vincent Tsao|
At the request of one of the attendees, names shall be withheld in this narrative. Only those who were present will know the names of the guilty....
It was a cold and rather brisk start to the day at the carpool. So cold, in fact, that the first few members attempted to meet together near the exhaust pipe of a bus picking up passengers in the I-695 park 'n ride. After a few moments of hypoxia and being unable to hear each other, however, we moved to a quieter if colder location while hikers gathered. After waiting an inordinate amount of time (or so it felt from the cold and windy conditions: it was probably more like twenty minutes) for the few hikers who either changed their minds about coming without letting the organizer know (curse their vile ways!), or who decided to meet at the event instead of at the carpool without letting the organizer know (no names, but the offending party in question happens to be a club officer), we huddled up in cars and made off to the nearest place serving hot coffee before heading for the event. The wiser amongst us stopped again to visit a gas station with an "attitude improvement room," while the less wise had to find the little girl's tree somewhere near the parking lot at the Smithfield Gun Club. One more enterprising member knocked at the door of the club house to ask to use the facilities, but apparently failed to meet the two-weapon minimum to enter the building and had to make due with more primitive facilities.
So we changed into hiking boots (after one of our cohort discovered that his leaking water bottle had artfully leaked with aim and precision right into his left boot. His nifty new Gortex boots proved themselved quite waterproof, to his chagrine) and headed off into the frosty windblown woods. Fortunately, the trees, while sparse, did shield us from the wind, and everyone stayed warm once they got moving, even he who had the rather squishy left boot.
About two miles into the hike, we discovered our first and greatest obstacle of the day. The happy babbling brook running through the vale of hemlock trees turned out to be a rather substantial stream with its usual stepping stone under several inches of water from the previous night's rain. Expedition teams were sent up and downstream of the trail, where one team found a dead tree across the raging torrent, where we crossed one by one without mishap. Another mile beyond, however, we encountered a similar circumstance, though most of the stepping stones there remained above water, save one rather slick one near the furtherest shore. We again all stormed across the stream without further incident, then part way up the next ridge we celebrated our continued surivival with a fine repast of drinking water, Snicker's bars, and homemade cookies from yet another hiker who will also have to remain nameless.
After a brief rest, during which the more energetic members wandered up to a high rock overlooking the waterfall and streambed, we chose to continue rather than freeze. Not sure of how far short of the PennMar High Rock we were, an hour or so later we regrouped where a few logs had fallen by the trail and enjoyed lunch. During our brief break here, yet another hiker who also must remain unnamed announced that she had managed to come on the hike without forgetting her pants. This author begs to suggest that the offending person might have noticed a rather strong draft as she left the house in the morning had she forgotten her daks, thus it was highly unlikely she would have made it all the way to our lunch break unclothed and unnoticed. But this is only the opinion of this author.
While eating our lunch, a pair of hikers came by and informed us that the High Rock lay only twenty minutes further on down the trail, so we gathered up our belongings (including our pants) and continued up the trail to the beautiful and stunning view from PennMar High Rock. Due to the chilling and windsw
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