The Three Mile Day (Maybe Less)

With just eight miles planned for the day, neither Paul nor I were in a rush to pack up. After catching up on sleep, taking in the view one more time and refilling our water containers, we were back on the trail – at one in the afternoon. The day promised some gentle hills and one more strenuous climb but we would surely get to Tillotson camp by late afternoon. The day opened up with an interesting passage through Devil’s Glutch, slated rock that looked like it was thrown all over the place. Despite the name, there was nothing challenging about it and it was rather pretty with an ancestral cave feeling to it. Less than a half hour later we came across a man who was putting on his shirt and shaking a head full of long, curly, grey and wet hair.  He told us about a pond, just a few minutes away down a side trail. After some brief hesitation, Paul and I decided to check it out. After all, we had gotten a late start on the day and any further delays could have serious consequences. Although I must admit nothing serious can happen on a sunny day when you’re on the trail.

We were the only ones admiring the pond and the abandoned cabin with a dock and a raft. Two more cabins were across the pond. We decided to take the raft to get across. Neither Paul nor I knew how to operate a raft and we tried tirelessly to steer and get it moving until giving up and just laying in the sun while the wind did all the work. It took a while to get across, much longer than we expected. After checking out the cabin we tried some other ways to get the raft to move faster until Paul discovered something that kind of worked. Someone had to jump into the water, swim in front of the raft and use the rope tied to it to drag it while swimming. Genius, right? So we took turns and got across. It was nearly five at that point and also lunch time. Finally, we were ready to leave and after hiking for about an hour we set up camp off the trail.

Ritterbush Pond

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