We got up, packed our nice, DRY laundry, and headed back down the road to consume way too much food for breakfast. This hiking business is just like being pregnant - eat as much as you want! Love it. The owner came in to visit with us again, after he had an unsuccessful morning of turkey hunting. His dad also came in to visit with us, and he told us he had just run some hikers into Pearisburg the day before who had sprained an ankle. They were from Germany, and we had met them two days before. Hopefully this will not end their hike. He also told us about a group of young hikers who were doing a 24 mile/24 beer challenge. Instead of hiking with the backpacks full of gear, they gave him their gear, and he delivered it up the trail to a hotel. They filled their backpacks with 24 beers, and hiked 24 miles up the trail to their hotel. They did not arrive until 2 in the morning. Once again, as much as we trip daily (and we do this sober), I can not imagine hiking drunk!
The first half of this day was pretty level or gradual hills through thickets of rhododendrons and we passed over stream after stream, and many footbridges. We also passed 2 gentlemen who were volunteers helping to maintain the trail. We thanked them as we passed. They were trimming back all of the rhododendrons. What a job!
By 10 in the morning, we arrived at a blue blaze (side trail) to Dismal Falls and hiked to see it (about .3 miles). We had heard it was worth the trip. It was a beautiful place, and I have no idea how they named it that. I think they could have done a better job.
When I walked up, there were 3 young hikers sitting on the ground in a daze, and one asked me if it was still morning. I'm pretty sure they had a late night. I went on down to the water, and even though it was chilly, couldn't resist jumping in. It was really icy! When I got out, I chatted with the three some more, and they told me they had had a really large group camp there the night before, and everyone had been swimming.
I dried off, and went back up to to join Keith and Swamprat, and take some pictures of the falls. One of the 3 hikers came up by us, and then kept walking right over to the edge of the falls. We thought he might jump off the top, but I had just been in there, and knew it was too shallow to do that. I decided to go upstream and take more pictures, and as soon as I did, he dropped his shorts and jumped in nude! I missed all of this, and when I came back, Swamprat's eyes were huge, and he looked at me, and said, 'He went skinnydipping! He could have at least warned us. We were watching him, because we thought he was going to jump off the falls." We all had a good laugh over that.
Later on down the trail, we ran into Snagglefoot, who had been a part of the 24 beer challenge. He was quite proud of his empties he was still carrying in his backpack. He told us he had also camped there at the Falls overnight, and that earlier this morning, a model had shown up for a photo shoot at the falls, and he said it had made his day to stay it off by watching a naked girl swimming in the falls. Apparently, you never know what you'll find at Dismal Falls!
The second half of the day, it seemed like all we did was climb, climb, climb. The boys didn't think it was that bad. I guess I was tired from the long day yesterday, but I was so ready to stop by the time we found a camping site. I told Keith if he'd set up the tent, I'd be happy to cook. I just wanted a job where I could sit and not move! He seemed happy with that arrangement.
Well, now, I hope you weren't expecting skinny dipping photos!