May 23 2015
I walked on today to a rumored swimming hole to find a wide opening in the river. Hikers were swinging from ropes into a deep pool. The girls I had met the day before were elated at the arrival of their boyfriends. I had a feeling they might leave trail then and there to go home. I hope they stayed on to finish.
I stripped down to my sports bra and hiking shorts and jumped into the freezing water. It was a hot and sunny day. The water was perfect. I found Bloop Bleep there sitting on a rock and we discussed how we planned to hike. He wanted to wait for Twilight Zone and Wonderland and I was trying to catch up with Just Mike. As we sat on the rock deciding if we were saying goodbye for good, Gooroo and Miles walked over the bridge. We invited them to swim, but off they went.
Gigi and Magoo showed up a little later so I sat down to lunch with them by the river. Several other hikers wandered up and passed by. Flask and No-one were at the river, but we didn’t have any reason to interact. I noticed them, but there was no familiarity between us. I said goodbye to Bloop Bleep and headed out to climb the mountain. I wanted to camp at a waterfall on a side trail. I stopped for dinner and water at a shelter just before the cut-off for the falls. As I was making dinner this tired looking hiker wandered over to say hello. We went down to get water together and he introduced himself as Gooroo, the spelling suitable to his personality. He made me laugh, but he was a stranger and I wanted to get more miles so I hiked out. We had dinner together before I took off and he told me he had been hiking a long time with a buddy but she had just left. I felt a little bad for him. He seemed really sad.
I look back at that night and think it was a mistake to walk on. I got to the cut-off trail and saw the mile and a half, straight down. It was getting dark and I didn’t want to backtrack, so I went down. It was steep and trees had been ripped up from raging waters. It wasn’t comforting stepping around tree roots and finding my way to the falls. I camped in a perfect spot, waterfalls for neighbors. I did yoga as the sun set and waited until morning to be completely disappointed by the trickle of water I walked so far downhill to see. The sound of rushing water makes for deep sleeping.