Tuesday, June 1, 2010

The Wet T-shirt Contest That Wasn't at Snow Falls

Fourteen of us started out from the parking lot- all good, hearty, woods and hike-lovin' souls. We were ready for the trail, or so we thought, all geared up with water for the hot day, food aplenty, along with Mabel, a Lassie dog who tagged along, clueless as to the clueless human's she'd hooked up with for the day. It was too hot for May, already in the upper 70's so we mosied by Richland Creek at first, easy walking took us past the coal mine opening that yawned, dark and mysterious, off to our left. The creek gurgled, the foliage lush and green as we stopped at one point to get a good view of the water coming down our way. Bill spotted a spiderwort in bloom, and we'd already seen Indian-Pink. When we came to the intersection that veered off from the trail to the dam, a generous-hearted Gwen decided to take the Trail Chronicler on up for a peek at the old dam, at one time a water source for the town of Dayton. The rest climbed on up. After Gwen and I climbed to the top of the dam, we continued on past to check out whether there was a trail that intersected. Gwen did find an old trail, covered over with knocked down trees, and to our surprise we heard Bob yelling down to us from above. After retrieving our poles and trudging thru poison ivy, we found Bob on the trail and it wasn't too long before we caught up with the others. We crossed Richland Creek again and turned left to go on up to Snow Falls. Beginning to climb, we traversed the mountain on long, gradual switchbacks before reaching the top. Here we got our first glimpse of a slate sky, weighted with rain swollen clouds, but we waited until we were all together before starting around the mountain. We passed thru a grassy pleateau before heading across into the woods again.

The first drops of rain hit as we passed the pleateau. Meandering down into the woods, we spotted rhododendron beginning to fade, some azalea's still blooming, and again, more Indian Pnk. As we began to descend down toward the falls, soft rain began to fall. It would have been heavenly to sit on a porch and watch, but we were out in the woods, far from a porch, and thunder rumblings turned to lightning. We wasted no time heading down through the rocks to get to Snow Falls with Ray deciding to wait it out on top. We all scrambed down, Mabel included, to the rocky overhang beside the Falls. By now, we were all wet and had had been sweating-a recipe for stink! The dog wedged itself between Arlene and Gorgina, so Val and the Trail Chronicler turned down the 'inviting' spot to go back for the shelter of an overhang we had passed. Here, she and I had lunch and waited, watching the rain, which was falling harder, hit the ground along with tiny spits of hail. About 45 minutes later, the group began to join us and it was agreed, all we could do was to head back.

Here the Trail Chronicler made an observation: Guy's don't mind the wet so much...they roll with it, gal's on the other hand have a need to 'dress-up' their misery. The trip back was a sight to behold, so here's a few things seen along the way:

Georgina gets the award for the most creative use of a plastic bag!
Ray uttered the most surprising comment to Che, "Let's have a wet t-shirt contest and I'll be the judge"!
Gary showed his surprising limbo talent at the creek with his 'How-low-can-you-go-without-getting-wet' swing!
Stormy gets the 'I'm-prepared-even-if-I-look-like-a-pumpkin' Award!
Reggie gets the 'I'm-too-old-to-care-what-I-really-look-like' Award with her goofy green hat with flaps!
Che made sure to get Mabel back to safety, showing she has the biggest heart, even in the rain.
Bobby on the other hand, showed a practical side as he 'kicked very softly' toward the mutts trying to follow us back into the woods.
Bob pulled out a 'Maid In The Mist' rain smock, runner up to Reggie in the 'I'm-too-old-to-care-what-you-think category'!
J.D. wins for 'I'm-so-far-ahead-of-you-don't-even-think-about-catching-up-to-me'!

During the hike back, Arlene noticed something white in the distance and it wasn't until we were headed back down the mountain that she realized it was mist coming to envelope us as we descended. As we were were all moving slow across the slippery rocks (and there seemed to be many more in the trail on the way down), Bill was flat moving it!

We probably resembled drowned-rats as we came out off the trail to the parking lot, but there had been a lot of laughter, proving we all went by the motto- When the going gets wet, the wet get going. :-)