Don't Mess With Black Bear
Thursday May 25 2017
Mile: 623.7 - 634.3
Time: 7:00 - 2:30pm
Weather: NOT RAINING
Room at Holiday Lodge
I had a great night's sleep in the loft of the hostel. I was presently surprised. My first impression upon entering the bunkhouse was "Oh no! This is nothing more than a barn with mattresses crowded on the floor in a hay loft!" Without heat even. I was just happy to be out of the rain. It was just a converted barn but it wasn't quite as bad as I thought. But then again I think my standards are lowering.
Shortcake and I skipped the family style breakfast. We wanted to get to Pearisburg as soon as our tired feet could get us there. We were the first hikers out. We weren't gone an hour and before our hiking friends caught up to us. Oh, the powers of youth. Our standard practice is to step aside and let faster hikers pass. But this morning I stopped, turned, stretched out my poles and blocked the path. I gruffly said, "Not today, you are not passing us already this morning. It's a troll road and I growled like a bear."
Bananas was in the lead followed by The Machine and then Adicus. The trio has been leap frogging with us the past several days or so. Bananas acting tough and rough as to scare away Black Bear clang his poles together. The behavior you should do if encountering a black Bear on the trail. When he did so his pole snapped in half. The Machine and myself burst into hysterical laughter at poor Bananas demise. We couldn't stop laughing. I told him that's what you get when you mess with Black Bear.
Bananas, Black Bear, The Machine, Adicus
That was a fun start to an already nice day. The rain has finally ceased when we woke. It poured buckets all night again. The skies may have been dry but the trail was not. The last four days of drizzle and storms left the path a soggy mess. Most of the day we hiked in a river. My feet stayed dry thanks to my trusty Cresta boots from LLBean. Shortcake wasn't so lucky. All that run off produced some pretty waterfalls though
But my favorite product of all the rain has been the recent rhododendron explosion in the forest. Every where we look the trail is lined and or tunneled with this huge blooms.