Chattooga – Part 13

30 12 2006

…continued from Friday, December 29.

Big Bend signaled its goodbye as we plodded away from it and toward the next set of waterfalls – Licklog and Pigpen. Miles separated Big Bend from the others, but the trail lay flat between and weaved a serpentine path along the ravine walls.

Puffy, white clouds slowly became grey and covered the sky as far as the limited view would permit. The thickening humidity warned of an ominous peril for hikers: thunderstorms! The search for a suitable place to set up camp began, but the steep grades would allow no such thing. Long, low rumbles came rolling over the ridgelines, quickening the walking pace. It would be nearly an hour before the first raindrops softly pattered the leaves.

The forecast for the day had mentioned a forty percent chance of rain which, according to Murphy’s Law, meant precipitation was inevitable. The slow rate of the rainfall picked up until clothes and packs became damp – an indication that it was time for ponchos. One GI style, tan poncho emerged from a pack along with an “engineered poncho,” a euphemism for a piece of plastic with a hole cut for one’s head.

Check back soon for the next installment…

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