July 21th 2015
I packed most of my stuff before bed and woke up around 3:30am. I grabbed my stuff and wandered over to the bear box with my head lamp. I ate a protein bar, drank some cold instant coffee in the dark and hit the trail.
I was racing sunrise. I kept thinking of climbing Clingman’s Dome in the Smokies. As the trail crossed and recrossed the road to the summit, I could see bits of orange and pink starting to light the sky. I really wanted to see it rise.
I learned on trail that there is a pre-sunrise and then a real sunrise, but I couldn’t tell what was going on so I booked it for the top. Blues and pinks started making it bright enough to turn out my headlamp. As I approached the top of the mountain I could see this green orb glowing up ahead. I came up the path to the monument and saw that I was at least half an hour early for sunrise. I was relieved.
Immediately I sat down and made a giant bowl of oatmeal and some hot coffee. Pre-sunrise is an event in itself. The birds go from silent to singing and the world comes into focus. I could see forever into the distance. It was so pretty that I texted Flask, rubbing in my situation. About ten minutes later this person walks up out of the forest.
Flask and I sat there talking for a few hours. We watched the sunrise. He sat far from me and his demeanor was one of shame. He was afraid I was angry.
I was angry.
They climbed the mountain just because they knew I couldn’t. It was way too late to get to the next campsite, but they said they were night hiking.
I teased him about “not making it very far.”
I couldn’t be too angry because I liked him even if he was a fool. And I was eating oatmeal while watching the sunrise over the world from the top of Mt. Greylock. I wished for him and he was there. This was one of the few things Flask did right.
The guys did a work for stay at the Inn on the mountain. When Flask returned to our buddies, I took off walking. I was excited to be ahead of them. It was a complete accident. I was just excited to see the sunrise.
I didn’t see them all day until the end. Flask walked up behind me and we walked together for awhile. I offered to let him pass, but he walked with me to camp. After awhile everyone arrived and they were ho-humming around.
They talked about leaving and Flask decided to stay the night with me. Chezwick and Noone walked off after saying goodbye again. About five minutes later they walked back into camp and set up their tents. It was a nice night. We sat by the fire. We did everything we usually did. We made fun of the Long Trail hikers starting their second day.
I remember one asked us “Where do we do our dishes?”
I was in mid gulp of my dishwater and cut my eyes to the side. Doing the dishes was usually some form of licking the bowl and swishing water around then drinking it. Waste nothing.
We all laughed.
I spent my last night on trail with Flask. It was sad to think how empty my tent would be. It is funny, I think it only got used on trail one more time before it broke completely. Then I got a teenie tiny tent so I could be a real solo hiker : )
That never works.
OH and we hit Vermont today!!!!! woooo I waited for the guys at the sign.