A small but intrepid group of psychologists had a dream: to retreat to the mountains for a weekend of adventure therapy. They fanned the flames of this dream over many months until the fated September weekend arrived–as did the trip-cancelling thunderstorms. Undaunted, this fierce group of psychologists bravely consulted their calendars and found a single alternate weekend, in October, that all but one of the group had free. Victory!
But fate had other obstacles in store. Last-minute illnesses, unexpected gear issues, and weather complications all colluded to challenge the psychologists’ commitment to their path. Nonetheless, all but one would ultimately reach their final destination on Cold Mountain.
Your humble author was running late, and urged the others to head to the campsite at the shorter end of the trek, where they planned to leave their gear and head toward the summit. I planned to hike the loop in the opposite direction, hoping to cross paths with them at the summit area and then head back to the campsite together. Alas, my timing was poor and I ended up passing the summit and heading all the way to the campsite where I met my fellows, just getting onto the trail.
The hour was late so we decided to retire to camp for the evening, where we settled in around the fire. The wine flowed, the fire roared, and many tales were told, my friends. Oh, yes.
Our little encampment woke to grayer skies and intermittent light rain, but the mood remained cheery and determined. Water was boiled, coffee was chugged, and our evil plans for world domination were reviewed before we struck camp.
No doubt, dear reader, you find yourself quite curious about what our little band of psychologists spoke of ’round the fire, late into the night. Alas, though I dearly wish I could tell you–what happens on Cold Mountain stays on Cold Mountain. 😉