Dinner and rest had helped, but the legs were still not feeling great. Coffee and breakfast helped some more and a deer walking into my camp certainly helped raise my spirits before I started up the climb. Thankfully I had a jump on the day hikers and was able to get most of my sweaty work out of the way before they began passing me near the tree line.
The cloud cover was still lingering on the peaks to the dismay of the peak baggers, but I was enjoying the dramatic views. I had promised my legs that if they got me up and down the ridge that they could rest later in the day, but there was some temptation to climb up into those clouds.
I soaked in the views while I could, but my time on the ridge was short. Many folks headed up the Crawford Path at that time of day. My route had me dropping three miles down on the Eisenhower Trail and once I left the ridge I wouldn’t see another person for until the middle of the next day.
I did find a great spot to set up camp near the river crossing. As promised, the legs were up in the hammock by early afternoon. There was a shelter a bit up the trail that I’ve heard wonderful things about, but I was not walking the extra half mile. Instead I had a sun dappled nap in my hammock before putting the tarp up later just to be safe.
Despite needing to rest my legs and feet it was impossible to resist heading down to look at the river in the changing light. Before and after dinner I was down there thinking this would be a great place to camp on a hot day when you weren’t exhausted and just wanted to splash in cold water all afternoon.
With the tarp up in porch mode I had a wonderful view from my hammock. Green forest as the light dimmed, then got brighter. Hmm, seems we had a bit of a moon coming on. It was definitely a bright night out there for a while…