The day dawned cool, clear and windy. Perfect for drying out the soggy clothes and tent from the night before. The streams were swollen to quadruple the size of the previous day, each mountain watershed acting as a funnel for its respective outflow. The kids thoroughly enjoyed their unsupervised stay in the shelter (and the parents enjoyed their snuggle time in the tent). Thankfully our friend Tigger was able to keep some order and get the kids to bed on time (and override our friend Seabiscuit’s call to pump them full of Oreos at hiker midnight (sundown)).
Although even Tigger couldn’t control the morning emancipation of the bouncy ball, much to the mixed amusement and consternation of those sharing the interior of the wooden box as a sleeping space. Whoever left that toy for the kids to discover must have been having a distant chuckle.
The kids took off early following Tigger while the parents scrambled to break camp and catch up. Each swollen stream crossing increased our wonderment at the kids’ ability to keep up with other hikers. We eventually caught Tigger and the kids (rendering unnecessary any downstream rescue search for Cartwheel or RobinHood).
Cartwheel peed into the Atlantic Ocean while RobinHood relieved himself into the Mississippi. We saw more lizards and snakes (one of which the kids declared with certainty was a copperhead, and could have been a juvenile–we’ll have to wait for our resident herpetologist to weigh in with an identification). Mama Bear showed off her new long sleeve which we picked up with our resupply, and the kids inspected the monument Audie Murphy.