Appalachian Trail Mile 747.2

Saturday, June 24, 2017 (Day 52)

Oh, how terribly late I rose this morning; it was nearly noon!  I evacuated my tent in quite the hurry.  The sun had become powerful and adimant in its shining, raising the temperature within my tent to sudden insufferable degrees.

I was in high spirits, however. It is always lovely to find yourself in a sea of green.

I had not travelled far when the trail crossed a dirt laden Salt Pond Road. There was another hiker there, reclining. We greeted one another casually. As I motioned to continue, he shot up. He said something along the lines of:  “I’m going to hike with you, if that’s ok. I need some motivation…I’m dragging.” Apparently he had been sleeping at the road. I was not terribly excited at the notion of hiking in tandem, but what could I say but: “Sure”.

He was an Englishman with a terrifically small pack. “Are you carrying everything in there?”, I asked. He was pleased at this question. A gear-lover, he was proud of his ultra-light status and eager to discuss strategies of equipment. His base weight was around 5 lbs. (!). He had to cut his Z-lite Thermarest both horizontally and vertically in order for it to fit within his pack! We talked about gear and pack weights and trails and mileage. He made fun of my love for carrying a nalgene bottle and was amused by my propensity for night hiking. I gave him the surprised response he was looking for when he told that he “ate his Nuun”. “Just a corner at a time. You have to eat it quickly…before the fizzing takes effect.”

He proved to be quite funny. I enjoyed myself and laughed often. The miles slid by quickly.  As the day shifted to night and the moon rose to take her seat amongst the stars, we arrived at the junction to Bobblets Gap Shelter. I took the side trail to the shelter as well, in order to collect water.

I continued on but half a mile before I settled on a nice flat spot to the left of the trail, spread out my ground tarp, unfolded my mat, took note of the heavy spider activity, and journeyed in to sleep beneath the stars

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