We’d found another good AirBnB experience, also with animals! Karen owned a blueberry farm, and kept a duck, cat, goat, llama, lamb, sheep and a kuene kuene pig! What is that? T’s favorite!
So after picking and eating some blueberries, we were going back to hiking. It seems everyone does this 7 hour “must do” crossing hike, but hiking in crowds and cold weren’t exactly our thing. At the BnB, this somehow got translated as “they don’t like people!”
To prove we aren’t haters, we did start the trail at 10:30, as we’d been told most hikers start between 6-8 am on one side and get picked up between 6-8 hours later on the other side. We weren’t alone on the way in, but ready with layers and water we enjoyed the views of lava rocks. About two hours in, Mount Doom and its surrounding vistas were well swallowed by clouds, and I who had been pushing the trek began to doubt myself.
When we ended up trailing someone who preferred her hiking experience with a boombox beat for all and I briefly held T’s freezing fingers, I decided the hike was no longer a must do. After descending and driving on, we were in the sun again and enjoying the views. We crossed out the remaining mandatory activities, and replaced “must do” with “crowded” as we read the guidebooks.