It was get to the Brewery day, a mere 18 miles easy right .
I finished my cup of tea and stowed my pot.
Okay snail easy day ,I should be there by 3pm I told myself.
I hoisted up my pack. I waved goodbye to the other hikers as I passed by the shelter and back towards the trail. I hadn’t gone far when Bob appeared heading to the shelter that i had just left.
“Wow what time did you start Bob”.
it was a nice cool morning as I pushed on, but the trail was not to my liking it was horrid rock. Luckily it had been recently been cut back so was easier to walk along .
The trail now began to head down and quite dramatically . God it was steep I felt admiration for the trail guys doing down this with their weed whacker.
Every now and then there was a clearing where you could look down into the valley.
But I was in a hurry and so didn’t stop . The trail continued down and would continue for the next 3 miles. I pushed on happy in the fact there would be ale at the end of the day.
Round the next corner sat Jingle, I stopped and said hi, He’s Japanese and in his 60,s and got his name as he carries bear bells.
I continued on and eventually came to the road, I was just checking my maps when jingle arrived.
Hey Snailtrainer you coming to get breakfast?
It did sound like a great idea but then I had to hike a 6 mile climb and with breakfast in my tummy.
I politely refused. crossed the road and began the climb
It was fairly gentle at first with nice switchbacks . Then it began to go down again . Why are you going down you stupid trail . I was busy muttering to myself when Jingle appeared behind me.
What happened about breakfast ? I asked
“No hitch” he said.
I let him pass , then followed him trying to match his pace , the trail was still decendiong until i eventually arrived at a stream
A hiker named Solo was there getting water . Jingle stopped to get water but as i had plenty I pushed on .
The trail now began to climb and steeply as i passed near to the next shelter I debated whether to visit and sign the book but walked on by The trail quickly became steeper and rocky . Omg I thought my arrivel at the Brewery may be delayed. I huffed and puffed as i slowly climbed . I heard someone behind and turned to see Solo. I moved over to let him pass,
“No your okay i like your pace ” he said
He tracked me for some time until I needed to stop for a break and so at the next clearing I stopped and sat down on a huge granite slab.
“Catch you later Solo” I shouted.
I was struggling today as the long decents first thing had taken its toll . These steep decents kill my knees and my fuel tank was fairly depleted. I took a quick break and wolfed down some snacks , guzzled some water before contining on .
I hadn’t gone too far when I came across Jingle who was also taking a break .
The trail now began roller coaster,that continued for the next hour before becoming just a very steep climb . There were switchbacks but I was struggling, it wasnt long until i neded to stop again and slumped down on a log .
God this is killing me, I glugged down more water and finished off my snacks .
I just sat there staring at the green canopy above.
Okay let’s go I hoisted my pack and plodded forward, I was still plodding when Rockwall appeared and raced past me . How does he do that, I muttered to myself.
After another hour I thought that i had reached the summit, but it still climbed but thankfully not so steep. I dare not check my map, in case it was still too far.
I came to the second shelter. which meant 1.5 miles to go, Come on Snail.
The trail continued heading up , Arrhhh I was l knackerd but I pushed on and soon began to meet people, clean people ! that’s a good sign.
At last the trail began to decend and i could soon hear traffic. the beer legs now began to work and I could now clearly see the road.
When i arrived i could see Jingle who was sat on the other side of the road.
“There’s no shuttle” he said.
“I know I said you need to hitch.”
At that moment Rockface and Bob appeared so there was now four of us . Which makes hitching harder.
But the third car stopped and somehow we all managed to squeeze in, including our packs.
It wasnt long until we were driving into the Devils Backbone Brewery. Wow what a complex, it was huge, camping, a sound stage, the Brewery, restaurants and much more.
We thanked our ride and headed to the bar. leaving all our packs lent against the wall.
I needed lemonade first, then I was ready for beer.
I started low before moving onto a 5% I was now hungry so ordered Ribs and a stout to go with it. Wow the ribs were amazing. The meat falling off of the bone and so tender. A Big thumbs up.
Jingle had drunk 2 pints before deciding to try the taster which was six beers of his choice. (1/3pints) It was also his downfall .
As soon as he had finsihed his last glass he slumped to the fllor and his day was over .
He had to be taken to his tent, but ended up sleeping on a picnic table over night Legend !!
Several beers later, I thought I ought to go put up my tent before I can’t!!.
I wandered over to the camp site, and found a suitable spot , i decided to take a 30 min snooze, changed my clothes before returning back to the bar.
I was not going to be late!
Remaining 13 Miles