My world canceled because of rain

MST through Bent Creek
MST through Bent Creek

This past week, I felt that my whole life was cancelled.

On Sunday, I planned to go on the Carolina Mountain Club all-day hike in Pisgah National Forest. It was advertised as 12 miles with not much altitude. The leaf color was going to be outstanding. But rain was predicted.

Rain doesn’t bother me when it’s warm – or rather not freezing. The leader sent out one Breaking News item.
“Make sure to bring water shoes because the creek crossings may be high.” OK, no problem.

In the evening, I made my sandwich, mixed up some Gatorade; I was being optimistic that it was going to be so hot that I was going to need electrolytes. The next morning, we woke up to drizzle but I ignored it. I checked Breaking News at 6:30 am, two hours before, and no new message.

At 7:30 am, I checked again–the leader had canceled because of high water. What!! What about the water shoes? Isn’t that why we needed them? Oh, well. Leaders can cancel their hike for whatever reason. Maybe I’ll go on the half-day hike. But that one was canceled as well, because of threat of thunderstorms.

So Lenny and I hiked in Bent Creek close to home. It rained a little on and off but there were plenty of other walkers and joggers.

Along the Pretty Hollow Gap Trail
Along the Pretty Hollow Gap Trail

Tuesday, I was scheduled to lead a hike for Friends of the Smokies in Cataloochee. For several days, the weather forecast was predicting heavy rain because of a hurricane. But I have been running these monthly hikes for five years and have never canceled. We go rain or shine and we were going to go this Tuesday.

Again, lunch made, pack ready, I went to bed. The next morning, I woke up to rain but I ignored it. I stretched in front of the WLOS news and weather. Not only was it raining but also high winds were bringing down trees. Downed trees? That got my attention. What if a tree came down on the road into Cataloochee or in the park? We could be stuck there for a couple of days. For the first time, I called Anna Lee, the outreach associate for Friends and we agreed to cancel a Friends hike.

We don’t have a way to let hiking members know that we’ve canceled a hike. After all, it hasn’t happened yet. I went to our first meeting point in Asheville and scoured for anyone who looked like they might be hikers. Of course, it would help if Friends members had Smokies license plates. I walked around the lot several times. It turned out that our hikers are smarter than the leader; no one showed up in Asheville.

I went to the “Y” that afternoon. While there, I got a message that my writing class was canceled that evening. A class canceled because of rain? I know about snow days, but rain days?

Oh well. At this point, I felt my whole world was canceled.

We’re rescheduling the Cataloochee hike for Tuesday October 21. The color and the elk will still be there. Let’s try it again.

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