I freeze my behind off in the night while tossing and turning in a vain attempt to keep warm. I make a mental note to zip our “fart sacks” together; Craig sheepishly admits he slept very well indeed. After breakfast we hike to a nearby lake and scare the fish when we dive into the lake in our birthday suits.
In the afternoon we locate our new friends in camp and discuss our different day hikes. There is a lot of talk about “good fishing holes”. Craig is a knowledgeable fisherman and begins to ruminate about his past fishing glories. Our new friends are interested in his fly fishing technique; Craig casts his line in a showy manner and immediately hooks the bush behind his head. Somehow Craig equates this with having his manhood questioned; he slinks off in shame in search of another peak. I contain my laughter and head back to mosquito flats where we very wisely set up our tent.
We have been on the death march forever; I am filthy and covered in bites. I have no mirror or comb because I packed at the last minute hoping for a reprieve. As I stumble along the path I ponder a book I read about two fellows who walked the Appalachian Trail. The book is titled; “A Walk in the Woods” by Bill Bryson. Our man, Bill, and his reluctant friend, Katz trudge the trail day after day, Katz leaving a trail of cellophane Twinkie packages in his wake. Thank goodness I did not have to pack my own food or we would really be in serious trouble.
I don’t care what anyone says, it is just not fun to walk forever. Craig stops every so often to contemplate life and extol over the scenery. I trudge onward as we begin a hike to yet another distant peak. I am forced up this “optional” extra climb as there are other women (older women) attempting the same hike, definite peer pressure. I rebel 3/4 of the way up the mountain due to the excessive shale which is dangerous and scary. After staking out my position on the mountain at what I imagine will be a short wait, the others scramble the rest of the way up the mountain. I wait approximately one and half hours during which time I begin to imagine all sort of nasty things that might happen to the other hikers and my husband. My over-active imagination gets the best of me and I begin the treacherous climb up only to meet them coming down. I silently curse them when I find they have all been talking on their cell phones as it is the one place on this blasted mountain where the reception is good.
We head back to camp where everyone thankfully eats yet another gourmet meal, after which all fall into an exhausted slumber. As I read by my dimming flashlight,
Craig studies his map for new and exciting excursions for the next day. Self counting the days remaining on hike and dreaming of a possible pony ride down the mountain.