We had a leisurely morning; Cartwheel and RobinHood piled into their uncle’s hammock for some snuggle time, while All-In and Mama Bear enjoyed with several cups of tea and fried bagels with cream cheese. We watched the wild ponies graze in the distance. Then, once the hikers who stayed a couple miles back started cruising by, we figured we better get a move on.
RobinHood started drafting behind a hiker named Wrong Way, who also happened to be a snake expert. RobinHood learned a lot about all sorts of snakes and has finally lost his fear of the timber rattlers that are likely to emerge as it warms up and we head into northern Virginia and Pennsylvania (knowledge tames fear). Cartwheel chatted non-stop with her uncle.
We stopped for a dip and some lunch by a scenic waterfall. After the refreshing respite we continued on our way. A couple hours later we were caught from behind by Wrong Way and another hiker, DJ, both of whom had left lunch long before us. They hadn’t actually gone the wrong way, but had instead caught a quick hitch into town for some pizza and ice cream. We refilled our water at a very pleasant spring, then headed on to the river to set up camp, passing through some fragrant meadows along the way (some unidentified relative of the honeysuckle created quite the olfactory sensation).
At the camp spot Mama Bear, Cartwheel, and I lounged while uncle Avery set up his hammock. RobinHood had long before absconded to the river with his fishing pole. I moseyed over just in time to watch him land a fourteen-inch trout of some sort (I’d guess Rainbow, but I’m sure grandpa Kallin will chime in if it’s actually a Brook or a Brown). We cleaned and cooked it (together with our rice and lentils). and had fish tacos for dinner. We even added a sprig of wild mint. Now everyone is tucked into bed as the river babbles gently in the background, and the crickets call quietly to each other.