Saturday, July 31, 2017 (Day 89)
I rose peacefully in the morning.
The trail was mellow; variations of greens and browns, no extreme ups and downs. There were many day hikers.
I came to a junction for a spring, just off of the trail. I went down to collect water. I was very pleased with its flow — fast and cold. Upon my return, I discovered a very large rattlesnake in my place. I was cautious at first, but upon realization that it paid me no mind, stepped closer. Its writhing, slithering, liquid movements were at once hypnotic and graceful. It slid along the earth and over logs effortlessly. What a fascinating creature! I watched for some time, until it moved its way into the underbrush and out of site. I sat beneath a tree and drank the deliciously cold, earthy spring water. I smiled to myself in reflection of the encounter, and moved on.
The trail was easy. It was practically a gravel road bed.
I came to Eckville Shelter, where I charged my things and had lunch.
I headed out again, not long before sunset. I needed to make it 7.5 more miles, to the spring just after the Allentown Hiker Club Shelter.
I was slow moving. The rocks were large, then small, then slanted, then unstable…always numerous.
It was nearly midnight when I came to the spring. There was no proper place to camp. I made due with a flat spot beside a tree near the trail junction to the spring, and went to sleep.