Appalachian Trail Mile 1508.1

Thursday, August 17, 2017 (Day 106)

I woke to two hikers speaking. They were male voices, they spoke of a friend who was busted for marijuana possession. I looked about me and saw no one. It was 4 am. I fell back asleep. Again, I woke to the speaking, seemingly disembodied voices. It was now 5 am. I spoke meekly, “Hello? Where are you?” There was no response, and I drifted off once more.

Next, two female hikers crossed the grass behind me to collect water from the spigot on the side of the ivy building. I lifted my head and giggled dreamily, smiling at the hikers, and once again returned to sleep.

Finally, a distant gate of the hydroelectric plant lifted, and thus, so did I.

As I was gathering my things I noticed I had broken my glasses in my sleep. Oh, how unfortunate! I was relieved to discover that the arm of my spectacles had detached in the most fixable of ways. I used my small Swiss Army knife to cut tiny strips out of the sticky part of a band-aid, and used these strips to affix the arm back to the frame. There! That should suffice until I get my hands on some super glue.

I set on my way.

I crossed the Housatonic River on a bridge. The mist rose from the river toward the morning light. I watched the water cascade down rock edges, foamy and pursuant in the distance.

I reentered the woods and came across a piped spring, straight from the earth and ice-cold.

Glorious! Oh, how it had been so long since I drank from such a spring! I drank deeply, with gratitude.

The day was full of challenging climbs, including Lion’s Head and Bear Mountain, the highest peak in Connecticut.

After the steep and rocky descent from Bear Mountain, the trail meandered through Sages Ravine. The hemlock forest was magical at dusk, an elemental abode.

At only a quarter past 8 pm, I had to use my headlamp to guide my way. How rapidly the seasons are changing, the days growing shorter with each passing day.

I crossed the Massachusetts border.

I sat beside a brook with a strong flow. I had intended to continue. I stretched out my body on the earth beside the water. My feet ached and my legs were sore. I surrendered to stillness. I did not get up again that night.

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