Day 19 5/2
Mile mark 307.8-328.5
Deep Creek Hot Springs to Cleghorn Picnic Area
I’m sitting at a picnic area near a reservoir starting to make dinner. The last 20 miles went by slowly during the hottest day yet. There are several other hikers around and we’re all a bit out of it. Off in the distance there’s a party going on at another picnic ground and we all hope they settle down by hiker midnight(9pm).
After dinner, I go back and forth between the grass and the picnic area trying to decide where to sleep. The grass is nice and soft, but I know I’ll get coated in dew. I decide the soft ground is worth it and bring all my stuff over to cowboy camp.
I’m laying in my sleeping bag, listening to music, gazing at stars and starting to fall asleep. I hear a loud POP and the sound of water spraying. Letting out an “oh shit,” I look up and see three sprinklers around me. Luckily for me, they all presently pointed away from me. I spring to life and pile all my belongings on to my pad and another hiker runs over to help me move my stuff.
Somehow, I manage to get all my stuff to dry ground. Another hiker is not as lucky, but he set up his tent so he just zips the door shut to wait it out.
I’m back under the picnic area and all set up to go to bed again. Just as I fall asleep a car pulls up. A women gets out with a very bright flashlight. As she walks over I start to fear we’re not suppose to be sleeping here. My fear is confirmed, but she calls the ranger station and they’re fine with us staying as long as we’re out early. We had planned to get up at 4am to avoid the heat so that’s fine with us.
As I finally fall asleep, I add two places of where not to camp to my list.