~*~ QT 4-05 ~*~
Hikers: ardwick & Beki, TheMarlboroMan, spindle, BroodX, no_granola & lilmountaingirl
no_granola and I met in PA and left my car at a
Holiday Inn so that we could carpool to the trailhead. Fortunately, the traffic
on I-80 West wasn’t too bad and we were able to make good time on our way to
Parker Dam outside of
Our plan was to hike about 2 ½ miles into a campsite so that we wouldn’t have to do it in the morning. The rain was already coming down, and the forecast wasn’t too promising. We geared up with all that waterproof stuff they sell in gear stores and headed out for camp. It was about when we hit the trail finally. It was a nice hike in, easy walking and a nicely maintained trail. Since BroodX had hiked the QT before, he was designated leader amongst us. Unfortunately, none of us had ever hiked with him before and didn’t know that to keep up with him, you needed turbo-boosters in your boots.
It only took about an hour or so to get to the campsite. Everyone went about setting up their tents before cooking dinner. Sadly, the fire ban prevented us from building a fire and keeping us warm from the chilly rain. It just wouldn’t let up! It wasn’t long after dinner that I gave up trying to stay warm and upright. I was ready to call it a night and catch some Z’s
The rain wasn’t about to give us a break, it just kept on a-comin’ as we packed up camp. A young man and his father passed through while we were getting ready to leave, and that was the last we saw of humans for the remainder of the weekend. We hiked a few miles, crossing roads here, there and everywhere but never seeing another person. We stopped briefly at one point to shed some layers as the sun poked out through the clouds at us. Conveniently, right around lunch time, the weather broke and all of a sudden it was 70* and sunny. We just happened to be on a mountain with a nice little view, so we decided it was a good time to rest.
commented on how strange the weather was behaving as clouds swept over the sky
and chilled us once again. Griswold joined us for lunch and a breath of fresh
air at the same time. TMM was the hero of the day as he presented us with some
amazingly yummy chocolate from
I guess our hurry pissed off the Gods because the rain started coming down in buckets! There was no point in even trying to stay slightly dry as it came pouring down, and then sideways when the wind came through the tunnel-like trail we were walking down. For about 20 minutes, it was looking like this was going to be an utterly miserable day. We trudged along, crossing several pipelines and open spaces (which would have made nice lightening strike spots). We passed a giant field of boulders and rocks that we thought might be the breeding ground for the PA Rocks. Or at the very lease, where the Boy Scouts keep them until they are ready.
Early in the afternoon, we came through the woods onto a road and a few hunting cabins. There was a nice stream so used the opportunity to filter some water and check out some of the local fauna. Immediately after the road crossing is an incredibly steep climb that follows a stream bed. BroodX, no_granola and spindle took off for the top. Ardwick, TMM and I mosied a bit, but soon enough, ardy was gone as well. As TMM and I slowly made our way up I started feeling a little funny. I’ve had it happen before where I get a little lightheaded, but never on the trail. I found a rock, sat down, loosened my pack, and just tried to breathe without passing out. I ended up sitting for about 15 minutes before it passed. TMM was great and stayed with me the entire time, even offering to hike up and then come back for my pack. I knew I would be okay, I just needed a few minutes…but I was very grateful to have the company in case something had gone wrong.
By the time he & I reached the top, everyone was standing around waiting and wondering what was going on. I felt bad for holding up the group but assured everyone I was okay and we kept on trucking from there. At this point, the terrain leveled out and was clear which made for quick moving. Over the river and through the woods we went. We had decided to start looking for a place to camp for the evening, but weren’t seeing a damn thing anywhere. A steep descent into a valley rewarded us with a small site, but not enough for the entire group and way too close to the stream. It was decided we would keep on trekking. All of us were cold, tired and wet. Our feet hurt and we were ready to camp.
At the next road crossing, there was a little white hunting cabin. Hmmm. After some scouting, we discovered a great little campsite by the creek. Easy to filter water, plenty of space for everyone’s tent, it would be perfect! It was stealth beyond stealth far, far from civilization and people. Far from the comforts of home. As we started to unpack, ardy was complaining about his head hurting but didn’t know why. All I heard after that was cursing. Apparently, his white gas had been leaking for God only knows how long. A lot of the things in his pack smelled like gas…no wonder he had a headache! He was lucky…he smokes, and lighting up with leaky white gas on your back is probably not very safe. Everyone felt bad, but of course, laughed. That’s what we all do…we laugh at each other’s expense. Welcome to the Mad-Atlantic.
camp was set up, everyone cooked dinner and feasted as we chatted about the
weather, the trail and the day. The rain was still coming down slightly and it was
getting colder. I had packed in four
Well, we made it through the night without getting washed away. Too bad we woke up to sleet and freezing rain though. Is there anything ELSE that the weather Gods want to offer up for this trip? Please…
was decided before we left that when spindle returned for her QT thru-hike in
So off we went once again. A little bit of a roadwalk followed by some nice up and down segments in the woods. It felt good to be moving. At one point, I passed no_granola on the trail, and soon caught up with BroodX. spindle then caught up with us and the three of us continued tromping through the forest. We paused at the beaver dam to take some pictures and wait a spell for the others. However, the chilly weather and freezing rain tempted us to keep moving for the time being.
TMM, no_granola, ardwick and I went to Shoney’s for some yum-yum’s. They sat us in the middle of the room right underneath a ceiling fan which in turn, cleared the room right out. Not a smart business move. no_granola ate his weight in fried food, I’m sure of it. We then piled into the cars and headed home. no_granola and I got stuck in horrible I-80 traffic so we made some calls and took a detour. Another Mad-Atlantic Adventure!
What I Learned:
~ Owners of hunting cabins should be afraid….very afraid.
~ no_granola is a downhill machine!
~ How to go through 4 seasons in 48 hours or less.
~ SQUEAKY-SQUEAKY is always the appropriate response to something funny.
~ Standing still in freezing rain sucks.