i woke up sometime around 6am, with the light pattering of rain on the tent and the greyish glow of an overcasted morning. i got dressed, being careful not to wake up jawei; it wasn't difficult, i was wearing most of my clothes when i went to bed anyway, and i put on my jacket even though it felt damp. i stumbled to the bathroom in the fog, and after a few sips from a bottle of juice, i put on my gear and walked downhill into the woods. it wasn't long before i saw my first eft standing on a pile of leaves. sensing my vibrations, it turned around slowly and tried to hide but not before i snap a few photos. after that i probably saw 6 more efts of various sizes. i went as far as the lake's edge, before i decided to head back and wake up renata; it would've been easy for me to have kept on walking, but i knew renata would never forgive me if i wandered off on my own without letting her know.
back at the campsite, i wasn't quite sure the proper etiquette for waking somebody inside a tent, so i knocked on the metal frame and whispered, "renata?" "yes?" she answered back (i was relieved that she was still alive after last night). "time to go naturing," i said. "okay," she replied. i waited for her inside the screen house (admiring the transparent leaves on roof, like natural stained glass) as she went to go brush her teeth (she went to bed without brushing). within minutes we were back in the woods again. it kept on raining throughout, most of the time it was a light drizzle, but occasionally there'd be very brief periods of heavier showers. for the most part we were safe from the weather since we were underneath the forest canopy, but everything was damp enough that eventually most of my jeans would get soaked from brushing up against the wet leaves.
instead of just walking around the adams reservoir (which would've taken a while, since it's 2.7 miles around, and besides, we've already done it once), we walked further into the woods, into some sort of marked wilderness area. renata was actually surprised by how fast we were traveling, since normally i like to take my time and explore, taking an hour just to cover a few hundred yards; i was only moving quickly because most of the stuff were things i'd already seen before, and i was hoping we'd come across something cool, like some unique feature in the landscape, or exotic flora and fauna. once in a while we'd come across an eft on the path, pointing to it as we went by. one noteworthy item we found was an olive-colored eft (hard to tell from the photo); it displayed some characteristics of emerging adulthood, for instance the color change, along with a flattened tail
and things on the side of its head that could be pre-gills. when we flipped it over we saw a bright yellow underbelly.
it was approaching 9am when i took a gps reading to figure out where we were. i wasn't quite sure if we kept on moving forward whether we'd come out at the ranger station, so we decided to take the safest option which was to retrace our steps and head back to the campsite.
we made it back by 9:30, everyone else was already up eating breakfast. after we finished eating (pancakes, oatmeal, leftovers from last night barbecue), it was time to take down the tents and pack everything up. it finally stopped raining but the wet sandy gravel on the ground still made for some dirty work. after we threw away the trash and a quick bathroom trip, we left woodford state park (checkout time 11am). at the ranger station we asked about our mysterious neighbor at campsite 67: an empty RV and some supplies left out on a picnic table but no occupants. the camping tag inside the vehicle was dated sometime in august and no one had been there long enough that cobwebs were already forming. we thought maybe something bad had happened to the campers and nobody realized they were missing. the ranger informed us that the guy who rents out that spot actually lives in town and uses the campsite as his getaway home.
we stopped off at hogback mountain to check out the scenic vista (now that the clouds were lifting) and to browse the nearby souvenir store. in a few more weeks when the leaves change color this place must be 100x more beautiful. i wanted to get some more green mountain crack (AKA maple syrup candy) but the prices there were too expensive. in the end everyone got ice cream (i had a maple walnut in a cone). next we stopped in the town of brattleboro to check out a bead store, before finally taking the 2 hours drive back to cambridge. i had the center seat, and was determined to stay awake but fell asleep anyway, waking up when we were within a few miles of home.
we stopped at the cafe, where renata grabbed all her stuff and went home in her car, while my father gave jawei and i a ride back to our place. later in the evening, my parents and my aunt came over with dinner, homemade scallion pancakes.
even after the nap in the car i was dead-tired. waking up so early in the morning combined with all that hiking through the woods of vermont really wore me down. i went to sleep early, around midnight.