Saturday, June 3, 2017 (Day 31)
I noticed that coffee had in fact been made and partially consumed last night. The donation box had been left ajar. I deposited what dollars and cents I had with a written note of gratitude, tidied up, and headed back to the trail at around 7:45 AM.
The trail followed the Laurel Fork River passed a waterfall. It soon left the river to begin a long ascent. On the other side of the mountain I came Watauga Lake. Many other people came to the lake as well, as it was a warm Saturday. People sunbathed and socialized and swam. A giant rubber-ducky inner tube floated near shore, making the lake take on an aspect of a giant communal bathtub. I felt as if I was passing through a place of parallel existence. There was a sad amount of littering. I did not linger.
I passed many butterflies. Wings closed, they appeared as delicate off-white leaves. They scattered as I passed, revealing their pale blue-hued wing tops. One separated from the group and lead me up the trail for a bit. The flight pattern was sporatic, as if motor skills were impaired. I cannot fly myself, however, so who am I to judge. I enjoyed the company.
The sun set a bright orange and hot pink through the trees to the west. A gentle pink and pastel blue painted the rolling mountains to the east.