Today we were hiking along a relatively flat section of trail when the trail took a sudden turn, went uphill, and came to this:
We continued along, the easy flat trail getting rockier in more natural way, not a rubble pile.
In the afternoon, we stopped by a restaurant that was located right on the trail. Unfortunately for us, it was closed. We decided to drink some water and eat a cliff bar on the porch. Shortly, Sparky joined us and asked to borrow a guidebook. He flipped thru the guidebook, pulled out his phone, and made a call. He had called a car rental place to come pick him up.
"This isn't fun any more." He said. "I'm going to go home for a week or so and decide if I want to continue."
Sparky! Off the trail! It didn't seem like he was struggling in any way. He was a slow, but strong hiker. And now he was driving away in a rental car.
After the restaurant, we hit knife's edge. The rocks got progressively bigger, leaning against each other at precarious angles, getting steeper and higher, as well. Finally, you are walking along a narrow ledge like the hull of an overturned boat. The rocks were lichen covered and a bit wet from the rain. Sub and I moved slowly and carefully across the rocks, looking out for one another and helping each other along. Times like these it's nice to be hiking with a group rather than solo.
A short while later, we transversed across another rock pile, slowly picking our way along. It took us about 40 minutes to go .4 miles. On the other side, we caught up with Wpodman, who was going slowly and falling a bit. We stayed with him, helping him along, until the rocks once again subsided and the trail became level.
We ended the day at Bake Oven Knob shelter where we tented. Rabbit had just received the text from Sparky about his plans, and everyone was in a bit of a somber mood.
Some days on the trail are harder than others. Today was a hard day.