Who is it, Deer?

Thursday, June 23rd
Maupin Field Shelter (840.5)

It's 1:30 in the afternoon and I'm in a shelter already. Everything I have for clothes is wet save a couple items; everything is hanging up.

Last night the rains did come, but not until early morning when the six of us in the shelter were all awakened by a large crack, then the skies opened. The rain and lightening continued through dawn.

Everyone ate but pretty much stayed in their sleeping bags. Conversations went from taking a sleeping pill and sleeping through the day, to pushing eight miles to get a ride to a brew pub that allows hikers to camp on their property.

I have to get to Waynesboro, and not going to get there in a shelter. So pack up when storm seems to be easing up and head out. The others stay, but wish safe trails.

Now I need to get up and over this 2,000 foot elevation. The rain comes down, at times hard, and I take time and watch my foot placement on the wet rocks. About half way up the rain stops, but the wind in turn picks up.

Get over top, nice views but with strong winds and being quite wet, keep moving. Quick call to Deb and leave message since its been a couple days, but probably sounded a little anxious.

Rain clouds.

Am able to move pretty quickly but strong winds give pause. I'm hit by a small branch, perhaps as a sign of warning.

I come over a small rise and 30 feet away is a young buck staring at me from alongside the trail. Beautiful red coat, and then what I assume is his mother crosses from the opposite side, and turns to look at me as well. I look at them, they look at me. Gradually, with no fear, they wander into the woods, where they watch unperturbed as I continue on.

Make shelter at 1:15, three other hikers, all from Harvey Creek, arrive. Spend the afternoon trying to dry clothes while rain and lightening continue.

Empty shelter and a break in the rains.


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