I thought that Sassafras Mountain was steep, but I soon found that Justus Mountain is steeper. (Maybe I’m still just exhausted from Sassafras, – – – – but of course I would never admit that.)
And then I found this:
This was just off the Trail a ways, and irresistible to my exploration instinct. Besides- – -What could go wrong??? So I decided to investigate with a forty pound pack on my back.
The overhang was neat and was probably a good place to camp, (in fact it looked like someone had already done so at some point) but I was set on getting to Gooch Mountain Shelter so I decided to push on.
This is when reality reared it’s ugly head.
I discovered that carrying a forty pound backpack down a steep incline and across a narrow path with a thirty foot drop-off on one side, was not the same as carrying the same one back out. (I found that I’m a bit squeamish about heights and the stability of 80 year old legs.)
The only solution was to take out some of the weight, then lift the individual pieces over a 3 foot shelf, carry them back up to the Trail, and then reassemble the backpack and the piecie-parts I had removed.
About an hour later I was back on my way to Gooch Mountain, after somewhat humbling experience.
On the way to Gooch I crossed Justus Creek and Blackwell Creek where I refilled my empty water containers, and got some pictures.
I don’t remember which of these are which, but “Ya Pays Yer money, and Ya Takes Yer Choice”.
I moved on to Gooch Mountain Shelter, and took up residence in the corner again. I figure if there are Bears, they’ll get the guys in the middle first. (Great plan but I was the only one there.)
Incidentally, there was a Barred Owl doing his thing even though it wasn’t quite dark yet, and the rain had cleared for awhile.
See you in the morning,