How was your night!
I must say that I woke with more energy than I anticipated after surviving a night of mice, snoring and continuous rain. The rain finally stopped leaving us with overcast skies and nice hiking temperatures for the day. We knew we had two good climbs and the potential for heavy rain so we headed out with a spring in our step for Gooch Gap Shelter. I was anxious to climb Sassafras Mountain, which in 2014 kicked my butt. With a lighter pack and shoes, I enjoyed the climb more than last time, (pack weight matters) and this elevation climb of 666 feet in a mile will definelty take your breath away. There is not a reliable water source between Sassafras and Justice Mountain, so we made sure we had just enough to get us over both mountains. After our climb down Sassafras to Cooper Gap we received our first trail magic of the year, four gallons of water were waiting for us. We filled our bottles, enjoyed lunch and tackled Justice Mountain. The sun made it’s first appearance of the day at 12:37 pm and lasted long enough for us to enjoy it’s warmth while we soaked our feet in Justice Creek, before the clouds rolled back in. One of my favorite times during the day was, when, for a few minutes the trail was wide enough to walk hand in hand with my best friend. It’s the little things! We made it to Gooch Gap Shelter minutes before the thunder roared. Thank God for Fred, he had our tent set up in no time. My offer to help was declined as I would cost us precious time.
Once the rain set in it was relentless!!!! After hours upon hours of it pelting our tent my need to pee could no longer be ignored. I curled up in a ball, stretched, tried to distract myself with thoughts of anything but water, but the constant pounding overhead just made the urge stronger. The privy was way to far at this point, the rains torrential and our tent allowed for no room to completely strip down and dry off, so I laid there for hours strategizing how I could stay somewhat dry while relieving myself, I finally had a plan. Since our tent was on a space that had a drop off due to a wooden tie and with my own vestibule I decided I would move my pack to the side, unzip the vestibule, stick my butt over the ledge while keeping most of my body under the vestibule. Fred looked at me like I was crazy, asking me if I was really going to pee out the side of the tent. HELL YES! As I get myself situated, relief finally coming, he shines the headlight on me. I’m whisper yelling at him to turn it off, all the while trying to maintain some sort of composure, which at this point was not possible. I didn’t think I would ever stop and once I finally did, I climbed back in my toasty bag and went to dreamland. Yes, I am sharing this because I had to. The trail doesn’t care about decorum or gender. When nature calls it is what it is.
And how was your night?
Until next time, do what you love!