Appalachian Trail Mile 1673.4

Wednesday, August 30, 2017 (Day 120)

I opened my eyes, pleased with the decision not to set up my tent.

It seems the clouds sit directly above, like a frosted lid to a clear glass mixing bowl. Through the trees I see clear blue. Wisps of cloud gather at the mountain tops. I feel percipitation from above. It is slight.  I ignore it and continue with my morning routine.

I expected only to encounter brooks and small streams today, but came across an unexpected spring about a mile after I began. Delightful! I sat and drank, in thanks.

I crossed paths with a southbounder. We both said “hello”, smiling. “No more spider-webs”, he said. I was the first person they had seen.  I had cleared their path. Though, I had not seen many spider webs lately. I wondered why. Part of me missed them. Is this strange? My winged friends of the night, my starlight consorts and their insessant flitting about my face…they were all but gone. I especially miss the fireflies.

I took a break for lunch just after Baker’s Peak. I had not travelled far at all, just over four miles. It was a rock scramble to the peak, and I was feeling rather tired.

The sun was shining gloriously. The trail is changing; the pines, the smells, the moss. My break spot was perfect…save for the flies. They bother me more than the moths. Why in the world are there so many darn flies? Buzz-buzz-buzzing. Large ones, small ones. One in particilar, the fat one, flies so sporadically,  hovering and twirling in intimate proximity to my face. They do not land on me, though. For that, I am thankful.

Despite the sun, the air is crisp and cool. I pull on my puffy down jacket, and sip my afternoon coffee, admiring the soft vibrant moss that encircles the base of each pine.

I continued on. The trail weaved alongside Big Branch River. There was a lovely campsite along the river just out of sight of the trail. It was late afternoon. There, I decided to nap. After a half hour or so, I pulled myself from slumber. I repeatedly told myself that I shouldn’t be so tired, that I must keep going. On I went.

I passed Little Rock Pond, and then began the ascent toward White Rocks.

Near the top of the climb, I break once more at a small campsite. It is only 8:30 pm, but the deepness of night fools my body in to thinking it is far later. It is not nearly as cold as last night.

I tell myself that I will just take a quick break. Then, then I pull out my sleeping bag. What a slippery slope! What if I just rise very, very early? I want to make it in to Rutland tomorrow. There is a donation based hostel there that I would like to stay the night at. If I arrive in the evening I can do all my chores and hit the trail the next morning. It is just over 27 miles away, over Mt Killington. I set my alarm for 3 am, ate dinner, and resigned to sleep.

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