South Lead trail ends at Big Fat Gap and it's always a mandatory place to take a break.
JOURNAL TRIP 48
MORNING IN SADDLE TREE GAP: The rain never came so I sit outside the tent brewing and drinking nettle and cornsilk tea and preparing to gear up and walk down to the Slickrock for a night by the big water and perhaps a much needed swim with Camp Suds soap.
Ok, I left Saddle Tree and humped it down to Elysium without tripping though I am one hot sweaty mess. The rest of the hike to Big Fat Gap will be along a hot piney ridge as it descends sharply to the gap. So far on this trip I've seen 3 people, Ken Jones and 2 dayhikers coming off the Hangover and on my fourth day I have yet to see any genuine backpackers. As soon as I cool off I'll load up and hit the trail, just let me finish this power bar.
I'm off the South Lead trail and I am sitting at Big Fat Gap resting, eating and cooling off! The walk down is a long nutbusting sauna bath whereby one passes Elysium Fields and the Cave whereupon the trail really starts to fall al la Hangover North Lead but I made it and soon I will be down on the cold waters of the Slickrock where I will bathe and basecamp. Yippee!!
OVERNIGHT AT WILDCAT FALLS: Ok, I am set up at the pretty camp upstream from Wildcat Falls and I am preparing to eat lentil soup after talking to a couple of backpackers from Savannah, Georgia who started at the Slickrock trailhead and are headed up to Naked Ground on the Nutbuster. I told them it'll never happen at least today and so they will probably camp past here a ways, maybe at the Hangover Camp, maybe even up at the Buckeye Camp.
One of the fellas was carrying an Army style pack and I asked him if he was a veteran and he told me a sad story of his recent combat wounds in Iraq when a grenade blew away his right eye and part of his face and head and chipped a carotid artery afterwhich he had to have surgery for a blood clot due to his wounds. I told him he was brave to come out here into the woods and backpack and he mentioned something about being behind a desk for the last 6 months and he needed a break. What a guy.
Well, now the clouds turn black and the thunder is telling me to get ready for some rain. I hope the 2 boys pull off the trail and set up camp before it turns crappy. Ok, here comes the wet downpour to my Wildcat Camp and it's a doozy. At 9 am it has ended and so does the day, the day called Four in the Slickrock valley. Tomorrow I hope to walk up past the Slicnic Camps and head on up the Nutbuster for the 9th time, possibly passing the boys at the Burnthouse/Hangover creek site or beyond at the Buckeye Camp but right now another stick of incense is lit and I am relaxing in these dark wet woods inside my dark dry tent. I hear voices in the river sounds though it may be my imagination, a power in the water brings visions of community.
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