5/21 pond campsite (11.6)

May 21, 2013 at 1:39 pm

As expected, we got a pretty late start today. Kincora set us all up with rides back to the trail, and we got to be in Hopeful’s car for a couple hours with Hagrid (my purple backpack buddy from Hardcore).  Hopeful was a fantastic story teller and made the time go with stories about hiking the AT.  When we got off in Damascus, we entered a very different town.  Although there were still a substantial number of bandanas and backpacks making their way out of town, the hustle and the hiker funk had diminished considerably.  We took our time leaving and stopped for both breakfast and icecream before we began the inevitable trudge out with Hagrid.

It was a hot, muggy day for a change. We took it easy and stopped at a small campsite by a pond with enough time to make dinner and relax before dark.  As we cooked, a loud crack of thunder rolled in over us.  We were very confused, because the sky was clear and cloudless, but then a second peal of thunder followed and the sky’s grumbling continued for the rest of the evening, even as the sun set in a clear sky.  We got into the tent and suddenly heard the winds kick up.  We thought we were hearing the wind increase but actually it was a sheet of rain moving towards us.  When it hit us, it completely drenched the surrounding area.  Over the next hour, hundreds of gallons of water crashed down on our tent and Hagrid’s tarp.  We stayed dry enough and entertained ourselves with cards, sometimes talking with Hagrid when the rain subsided (apparently it was also raining where he was).  At the end of the storm, which left just as swiftly and dramatically as it came, we got out of the tent to survey the damage with our headlamps and discovered that our tent was only minutes away from becoming an island in a lake.  The water had risen so high in the ponds on either side of us that it was almost touching the tent.  We did not sleep easily that night, but woke up relieved to be dry.
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You should always stop to smell the rhododendrons.