Sunday, December 01, 2013

20 June 2013 Clinton County

This was a tough day for us. We planned to cache through Saturday and drive home on Sunday. On Tuesday, we checked in with our friend and animal-care professional who was boarding Eva while we were away. Eva had stopped eating. She had been okay the day before and we were used to the ups and downs so maybe Tuesday was just a small valley. On Wednesday the valley got deeper with a second day of no eating. By Thursday morning, we knew there would be no more good news related to Eva. Our planned Suday return was not going to happen. It meant we were going to pile up some tough hikes today just to complete the trail on Friday and head home.

We did a number of overlook caches by George1 and few longer Legacy of Conservation caches. Our route plan left George1's Earth Elemental II cache and Painter cleft for the last of the day. For some reason, the Painter Cleft cache killed me. I don't think I am in terrible shape and spent the week enjoying each high-terrain cache, but this cache was so different. It was an out and back with much of the trail very narrow and a loose pack on the downhill side. I was tired when we found the cache, but we were making good progress back. Then I missed my footing and went over the edge. I slid a good distance before I was able to stop and slowly crawl back to the top.

Whatever happened during that fall screwed up my balance. I spent the remainder of my time on the long section of narrow trail being doubly cautious and super slow. In the meantime, Ali was worried about the time we were chewing up on the trail and being on the trail after sunset. When we reached a stream crossing, I couldn't convince myself to cross the stream. My balance was screwy, and I was weak from the fall. I was certain I was going to slip and go down in the stream that was swollen from recent rains. It took Ali a long time to convince me I couldn't avoid the stream crossing by going over a rock formation.

We eventually did make it back to the Subaru after sunset. It was very late by the time we returned to Lock Haven. Ali earned some sort of medal today for getting me back from the trail. It was a scenic hike and one that won't be forgotten.

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