Appalachian Trail Mile 603.0

Tuesday, June 13, 2017 (Day 41)

Drops of water fall from the sky. I am not sure if it is residual rain from the trees, or if it is actively raining. It is nearly 11 pm. I don’t want to set up my tent. I think it may be raining. Darn it. I’ll set it up.

…there was rain this morning. Loud snaps and whirls of thunder, and sharp yet faint flashes of lightning. I thought of Bland, VA. A land so near and full of beds and showers. I hurried on. I passed the tent of someone who chose to take cover. I passed a dead snake on the trail.

I then passed some men standing by some pick-up trucks. They told me to be cautious, as construction was under way in the area. They also told me that there was a brand new little shop that opened up right alongside the trail. How lovely!

I sat inside the little shop and took cover from the rain and ate a sandwich while charging my things and chatting with another hiker.
It was mid-afternoon when I continued on. The trail followed the road and along a freeway overpass. I followed the blazes and arrows made of stones to find my way. Where the trail reentered the woods there were many tents and hammocks and the surrounding area was littered with wrappers and empty soda cans. I wondered if the occupants were hikers, or people that lived there.

I had to collect water from a side trail near a shelter. It was the only drinkable water for about 10 miles. It was a mile round trip for collection, and was very steep in parts. Shortly after getting back on the trail I was passed by a hiker carrying nothing but trekking poles and a large fanny-pack. He said he was thru-hiking and that he was going about 30 miles a day. He had a friend with a van assisting him. His friend met him at road crossings, and inside the van were two beds–one of which he slept in each night. He mentioned that if I saw him at the crossing in five miles, that he had some trail magic. This was motivating. I came to the road crossing not long before sun down. Two hikers whose company I very much enjoy were there, sitting in foldable chairs drinking soda and snacking on chocolates. I joined the group and we all sat and chatted for a bit.

It was nearing 9 pm when I began hiking again. I wanted to at least make it passed the next shelter. I made it about one mile passed the shelter and chose to call it a night.

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