It rained overnight for three hours.  When we crawled out of our tents, one of us hadn’t slept but an hour or less, a victim of the IPA poison that led to dehydration which incurred a pounding headache.  The other one of us was kept awake by the rain hitting the tent fly, having had maybe two hours or more of sleep.  The day started rough.

Julie’s breaky was the cure.  Biscuits and gravy, eggs, bacon, sausage, a pancake, home fries, toast, coffee and hometown charm brightened the morning, as did slowly emerging sunshine.  Forecasts were saying it would clear off and temps would reach to near sixty degrees.

Back at camp we tweaked the bikes a little and changed our clothes.  We ended up getting a late start, but we still managed to pull off a big ride.

Up Black to Turkey Pen and across. Over to Squirrel via South Mills River and Mulinax.  Then Squirrel > South Mills River > Buckhorn Gap.  Up at the intersection we decided to go down Clawhammer because the day’s light was waning fast.  We left Black descent for tomorrow with the group.

At the bottom of Clawhammer, our feet were frozen.  The sun was behind the ridges.  Darkness was near.

independent writer

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