Our crew debated the distance — was it 26 or 28 miles? — but the fact remains: we hiked all day on Saturday, September 19th.
Equipped with head lamps, we set out long before sunrise and wrapped up just before the dinner hour. We trudged up grassy ski slopes and hoofed across ridges; we slogged through mud, and marveled at spongy, moss-covered forests; and we cursed, while wading through weedy, abandoned trails.
But we made it.
Maisie, our canine companion, completed the hike at 5 pm… just a shade under 12 hours.
Mile 23 or so
Martin, our fearless leader — hobbled by blisters — limped across the finish line a bit later.
In the predawn hours one hiker encountered a bear, and temporarily lost her way while fleeing the scene. The rest of us merely observed bear treads in boggy patches.
We also viewed a kick-ass sunrise behind Shavers Lake.
And later, majestic mountain views.
Kudos to the crew of 45 hikers who ventured out, and to the many others who kindly donated to this great event. You all rock!