At 10:00 The Middle Group set out on a reconnaissance run. Our mission: find the blue flags and plot a course for the official group run at 11:00. All flags led to the base of Stewart Mountain, so the consensus was to go back to The Compound and save the assault on Stewart Mountain for the 11:00 tour.
At 11:00 the Middle Group set out on Mission #2 with enough new recruits to qualify ourselves as a small army. No combat experience necessary, but survival skills were a definite asset. As we climbed Stewart Mountain, so did the thermometer. On the long death march up the relentless face, Yuki and I kept pace, pulled along by our string of conversation. Then we began descending through a shaded section. Our enjoyment of the cool forest and gentle descent was cut short by the realization that we were going the wrong way. We did a reluctant about-face and set upon the task of finding the rest of the group. Fortunately, our years of running through the wilderness with the Harriers had honed our abilities to read the trails like the backs of our hands (and a wooden arrow here and there is helpful too).
We reunited with the group at the top of Stewart and immediately set about our next task - find water! Yes, we are true Harriers, trained to handle hardship and suffering by keeping our wits about us and being brave in the face of adversity -- WAHHH!! Where's the water! Bob said he'd leave us some bottled water!
We did eventually find the stash of water, but we had to descend Stewart and climb all over Scafe to find it. There it was by the viewpoint. Milling about was the walking group who had beaten us to it. We pawed through the sun-baked bottles and found some still unopened. Cups were quickly dispensed and we coughed when we realized it was the temperature of bath water. We were really roughing it!
All that remained was a descent down the baby-head boulders and a final run for The Compound to complete our mission. The descent was treacherous as always and, as I picked my way down, a familiar voice called out, "There's a Wendy-Jam." Sure enough, there was Bob leading the hiking group up the same slope. "Gee," the runner behind me commented, "you must be pretty special to have a jam named after you." Yeah, I'm special.
Comments from Bob:
Yes, Wendy, you are pretty special to have a Jam named after you! I have a term labelled about me that Lara initiated - "Bob-whacking" as we explore new deer trails, or non-trails in the park! "If you can't get blood, get mud." Fridge. When cutting corners, you are "Scrivenating", named after Bill Scriven as he runs great tangents while in the woods. At least we stopped you from the habit of yelling "Help" when you had been dropped by the Middle Group and came to a fork not knowing which way we went. From my advice, you quickly changed the yell to "Which Way?", then we'd yell back "Right" or "Left" and know that you weren't hurt and bleeding somewhere at a trail fork. Here's another Aurthurism for your fridge, "When you reach a fork in the trail at Thetis, take it!"