MD 7/31/04

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      [Ed: Imported from Americas Roof ‘Summit Trip Reports’ forum]
      [By: Steven Tursi on August 1 2004 at 11:17 AM]

      2nd highpoint of three this day, along with PA and WV.

      This was a very rewarding highpoint for both of us – I have never hiked in rain like this. When we arrived at the trailhead there was another group leaving, who was concerned at our lack of adequet clothing in the rain. Figuring it was a short hike (and trusting the ‘hot and humid but dry’ weather reports – doh!)I was in a duofold tshirt and cotton shorts. They offered us trash bags to wear, but we declined – because as hard as it was raining we were still warm. Wet isn’t bad as long as I’m warm. He also told me with disdain about how someone told him it was only a 20 minute walk to the top when it took him a lot longer. His was more of a nature hike however, and when it took a fat guy like me just 30 minutes to make it up there I knew that his stops to appreciate nature were taking longer than he thought. Anyway, it did only take 30 minutes to get up there, and thankfully the trail wasn’t a mud trap but rather a well-consolidated gravel path. A word of advice is that if its raining, avoid the left spur that takes you to state line marker #3 – those rocks are extremely slippery. By the time we got to the top we we couldn’t have been wetter if we jumped into a swimming pool. My duofold shirt was all right, but the cotton shorts were so heavy with water they had started to fall down from my waist. Interesting observation on the disadvantages of cotton – and, by the way, when we got home 12 hours later the shorts were still damp. Anyway, at the top the rain was still going strong with no sign of letting up so we took photographs from the picnic table which was under a tree (we used a ziploc bag to keep the camera dry on the hike itself), added a rock to the enourmous cairn at the summit and started down.

      When we got to the bottom there was a couple with florida plates just starting out and if my memory serves, they were wearing blue jeans. i wonder how they fared in the rain, which had by now lightened – slightly – but it was still real rain. Their comment to me was “we thought we were the only ones crazy enough to come here today.”

      The rain was unusually heavy but it didn’t dampen our spirits at all – in fact, we’re pretty much thrilled about the rain because it makes for such a good story. My endorphins were kicking on the way down and I felt like taking on the world. It was probably the most rewarding highpoint so far – and there wasn’t even a view to take in!

      Be sure to check out the smallest church in the lower 48 while you’re here – it’s a neat little attraction and less than a mile from the trailhead.

      There will be pictures posted on this web page in a couple of days:

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