Cartwheel, who went to bed in the top hammock as the rain pattered on the tarp above, awoke in the morning on the ground nuzzling atop our empty packs. Neither she nor any of the rest of us knew how or when she made the transition (or even whether it was intentional or accidental). We enjoyed a hot breakfast, then headed up above tree line.
The clouds whipped by below us and we enjoyed the stunning views of the presidentials. We took advantage of the constant wind and intermittent sun to dry our wet tent and tarp, enjoying a hot cup of tea atop the mountain. The wind tossed Cartwheels hair around, much as it did the summit grasses.
The decent was steep, but it paralleled a scenic stream with cascading waterfalls for over a mile. We met Grandpa Pete on the way down. He had driven out and hiked up to meet us in order to bring us a vehicle to head off trail for the weekend for an Ultimate Frisbee tournament. Cartwheel caught her foot on a root and performed and accidental cartwheel, recovering as only one with a low center of gravity can. We said farewell to Shroomer who would hike on beyond our reach while we were gone.
Then we climbed into a car, saying farewell to the trail until our planned return to Kinsman Gap on the morn of Tuesday the 29th.