Thursday, June 29, 2006

Back in Black

The Black Forest, that is. What an awesome trip. The weather wasn't as cooperative as it could've been but it certainly could've been worse. Saturday and Wednesday were beautiful. Tuesday started nice and looked like it was going to be gorgeous until about 2 or 3 in the afternoon. We got to our campsite early, thanks to busting our butts the first 3 days, and had spread all of our wet items (which would be basically everything we had) out to dry in the sun. Then the wind picked up, the sky grew dark, and all of our nearly dry stuff turned back into wet stuff. Sunday and Monday it pretty much just pissed rain on us for most of the day.

No matter how good your equipment is and how much time and effort you spend trying to waterproof everything, if it rains for a couple days in a row everything will be wet. Actually I did a good job of keeping my clean clothes dry and my boots held up like champs. The leather got soaked but the Gore-Tex liners combined with a nice pair of gaiters kept the insides more or less dry. I got picked on for wearing gaiters since they look rather dorky but the dryness of my feet, the lack of stones in my boots and the fact that I didn't get scraped up and all itchy from whatever the hell we walked through on day 4 made them worth the harassing. I also just like 'em. Remember, I am a dork.

I hiked this trail with my brother about 7 years ago but I had apparently blocked how tough it was from my memory. It's rugged, hilly and breathtakingly tiring. It's also breathtakingly beautiful. I'll have some pictures to post later. Chan had the camera so when he sends me the pictures I'll put a choice few up here. I hope the ones he took of the rattlesnake we walked past on day 5 come out. It was huge and was so close to the trail we could've reached out and touched it. Why didn't we just move off the trail a little? Because there was another one almost as big on the other side who was about 5 feet from a pile, and I mean a pile of 8 or 10 more rattlers sunning themselves on a big rock. I was so terrified that if you could've guaranteed me that I could turn around and walk the 39 miles back to the car in the other direction without seeing another one I would've given it some serious thought.

The SU's dad fell during a particularly rough downhill on day one and bruised his tailbone. That fall would plague him for the rest of the trip. It made every step up or downhill painful and there were a lot of them. But he stuck it out and finished the whole thing. The guy can be hard-headed but he never would've made it if he wasn't. I don't know many people, much less many 58 year olds, who could do it.

And in response to Elle's comment from my previous post: Yes, I did bring a few games with me although they were all of the card variety due to weight and size considerations. Since we were stuck in the tent on our Tuesday afternoon "off" we played For Sale and my homemade version of Geschenkt using the For Sale coins as chips. I also brought, but we didn't get to play, Meuterer which I'd like to have hit the table some game night so we can try it with 4 people. We played some regular old cards too, rummy and the like.

So for everyone who was worried about my well being I'm ok. 7 pounds skinnier, but ok.


lkmanitou said...

Glad to hear you didn't have to swim back with all the flooding out east :D

Phollower said...

Yeah. We had no idea there was flooding. When I got back into cell phone range I called Sylvia and she told me how worried she was. We got rained on plenty but it didn't seem like a floodworthy amount. Lucky for us!