March 4-5, 2011: I-40 to Max Patch Road
I started a hike toward Hot Springs from I-40 at Waterville, but left the trail at Max Patch Road.
Dan from Bluff Mountain Outfitters took me to I-40. We talked on the way up, and he reminisced about a hiker friend who had worked with him at BMO and who had recently passed away. The hiker was known for his slow pace, and was receiving some ribbing from a fellow hiker who was boasting about his own pace; he responded brilliantly:
Bragging about how fast you hiked the AT is like bragging about how fast you had an orgasm.
After an enjoyable hike up Snowbird, I was treated to nice views from the top.
I descended to Groundhog Creek shelter, where I spent the night alone.
I started late, cold and tired, and found my fleece was little protection from the constant winds that buffeted me all morning. I became more and more tired from the wind, and resolved as I approached Max Patch Road to find a ride back to Hot Springs and continue my hike later. That proved fairly easy, as a truck with four young men from Hot Springs soon stopped. I enjoyed listening to their conversation, which revolved mainly around the ownership of various tracts of land and their dreams of having a place of their own in the mountains. They would not take money for the ride, but they have my thanks.