We came to a water crossing, a stream that normally would have been simple rock-hopping, but with 36 straight hours of rain, it was incredibly swollen and the current intimidatingly strong. About 30 yards downstream was a 30-foot waterfall as well, just gushing with all of the runoff. Scary? I think so; for me it was the scariest crossing yet, and I shamefully admit I got the sniffles as I started across. I wasn't afraid of getting wet--I was already soaked--but afraid of getting hurt. There were rocks spread across to help with crossing but several were under the water. Bear Bag went first and I followed, picking our way across the water. The rocks were unsteady in the current and at times I couldn't use my poles as the water was so deep and the current so strong. Of course the rocks were soaking wet (some with water gushing over them) as well; I held my breath with every step.
Thankfully we made it across safely and I breathed a huge sigh of relief. I've come to realize that water crossings are one of my biggest fears out here. The small ones I can handle but crossings like this definitely get my adrenaline pumping.
We got to a road about a mile later and Road Runner was there; he had a ride to town but was waiting on his hiking partner. The guy offered to take us as far as Wallingford and we couldn't resist the thought of a hot shower. He dropped us off in a few miles and we stood on the corner in the rain with our thumbs out. In a matter of minutes a truck pulled over and he even let us sit in the cab! He took us into Rutland and dropped us off at the McDonald's. He even gave us his number for a ride back in the morning! Amazing. We ate some food and ran into Radio who said he and Strawberry had stayed at the Comfort Inn for a good price, so we headed that way and got a great deal on a room. We took advantage of the swimming pool and hot tub as well! We walked to the laundromat to wash all of our dirty (dirty) clothes, and then ordered pizza for dinner. The day cleared off a bit but it's been raining off and on this evening. Hopefully the trail has dried up a bit..?
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