The Flood

09-30-2015

We drove out in the rain, sliding along back to Abol Bridge. Yonder, Tattoo and I arranged to meet Kevin later inside Baxter because we were slack-packing 10 miles. I had my full pack because I was stubborn and there was no way I would walk off into the rain without having my shelter.

We started down the AT which was covered in about three inches of water. We could hear streams roaring all around us. The bridges were passable, but frightening. We took the high water blue blaze up the ridge because we were certain we couldn’t do the stream crossings.

The blue blaze trail didn’t list any stream crossings, but ended up being over waist deep in spots. Yonder waited at each crossing to make sure I didn’t get swept away, as I am short and the water came up higher on me. It was swiftly flowing downward.

By the time we got to Baxter, everything was wet. We were cold and disoriented, so we walked the direction we thought was correct. The signage was confusing, but we lucked out and a car picked us up. Two nice ladies drove us to a ranger station and we waited. I walked around outside trying to get a phone signal to tell Kevin where we were. Somehow he found us, wet and shivering on the porch of the ranger station. I worried all night about the big group of hikers that was hanging out at Abol Bridge. Did they leave in the rain behind us? Did they sleep out in the cold?  Did they cross the streams? Why couldn’t we find any signs in Baxter?

Hiking that day was stupid, but the ferocity of nature is still absolutely amazing. No regrets. No pictures either ^_^

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