Happy Birthday Wonderland!

05/12/2015 Dismal Falls

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It was a fun couple of days with so many birthdays happening. I was excited to have made some new hiking buddies. I was feeling frustrated about hiking with one person, but I loved hiking with Sam so I was constantly struggling with an internal conflict. I came out to trail to become more social and to be communal and there I was again, me and another person. I was starting to think I wanted to hike alone.  I knew I needed it, but I wasn’t sure that I wanted it. Sometimes people would ask us if we were a couple or even worse, just assume we were a couple. This isn’t a personal comment on Sam at all, but on myself.

Wonderland, Twilight Zone, Just Mike and Bloop Bleep were a fun group. They gave me a taste of group hiking that was different than before. With my first Tramily I always felt excluded in that I wanted to hike harder than everyone else and didn’t care much for partying. This new group was organized around high miles and beautiful campsites. Our group was never formal and everyone did what they wanted. We just kind of showed up at the same spot and I really enjoyed the surprise in it all.

Towards the end of the day everyone was talking about camping at Dismal Falls. One by one we wandered down a road crossing to a country gas station to buy beer for the night. Everything in the gas station seemed expired and the bathroom had a sign: Hikers, bring your own toilet paper. Evidently hikers had been stealing toilet paper from the gas station and it certainly didn’t look like the sort of place to have a square to spare.

I sat there in front of the gas station on and old pew in the blazing sun. Roads, towns and parking lots were always about ten degrees hotter than the woods.  The sun felt like it was focusing on me, trying to burn me out of existence. I thought maybe the asphalt would melt soon. I had these big sunglasses on, the kind you see on motorcycle cops, and little pink running shorts. I was dirty, tired, sweaty, very ladylike in general. I grabbed my two budlight 40s and stuffed them down in my pack to keep them cool.

When everyone got to the store we all somewhat agreed to continue on to the waterfall. It was a steep end of the day climb, but I had some sugar fueling me. I hit the cut off for Dismal Falls and almost ran towards the campsites. There wasn’t much room right by the waterfall so we saved a nice spot for Wonderland and Twilight Zone. Miami Vice and Sam were brave enough to cross a log to a big site across the river. Just Mike decided to take off his shoes and venture a river crossing. It looked like fun and the site across had a great view of the waterfall.  So I bothered Just Mike for the first time. He didn’t seem to mind me camping with him either way; I really enjoyed his indifference.

That night we all sat by the fire and chatted. It wasn’t a wild night, but it was pleasant. Happy Birthday Wonderland!!! I hope you remember that beautiful waterfall today ❤

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