July 9, 2013
Today’s mileage: 16.9
Total mileage: 1681.2
The rain never came last night, so we enjoyed a dry night in our tent by Big Branch. I went to bed early last night, around 9:15 and still didn’t wake up until 6:30. I guess my body needed a lot of rest. We hit the trail before 8:00 and started with a gentle climb. We had a nice hike around Little Rock Pond and took a break at the top of the climb. I fell a few times on the slick rocks and had a few close calls. I was sucking on a Jolly Rancher while hiking after our break and as I got up from my fall, I inhaled the last bit of the candy. If it was any bigger, I may have choked. I learned my lesson.
The humidity continued today and made us sweat a ton as we climbed Bear Mountain. It was the third Bear Mountain we’ve hiked since New York. Popular mountain name, it seems. We crossed the raging Mill River on a wobbly suspension bridge. We took some enjoyment out of the bouncing bridge as we hiked towards the road. After we crossed the busy road, we found some trail magic on a fence stile. Someone had left Capri Suns and cans of Blue Moon for hikers there. We grabbed a couple of Blue Moons for dinner and hiked up a steep, slick climb to the shelter.
We had a rock scramble as part of our ascent that kept us on our toes. Thunder began to rumble as we neared the end of the day. We beat it out and decided to stay in the shelter in case it rained. The storm just missed us however. There are eight of us total here tonight, but we’re the only thru-hikers. A local drove up on his four-wheeler and is chatting with us. He told us how all of the rain is severely affecting the area, especially the farmers. He said it looks like rain and thunderstorms at least for the next few days. No surprise there!