Appalachian Trail Mile ~ 931.0

Friday, July 7, 2017 (Day 65)

I have yet to start hiking this morning. The day began foggy and gloomy, but soon cleared. I am washing my socks now at the store. I drink refill after refill of coffee. I mess with my phone, hoping it will miraculously charge. I chat with locals and hikers alike. I procrastinate. I am filled with lofty ambitions of making it nearly all the way to Loray.

It is after 3pm when I leave.

I pass a campground; little fires and gazebos and gigantic tents and the smell of burning marshmallows.

The clouds to the west appear heavy and grey; as if burdened with moisture, or a dark tale they wish to spill with the syllables of rainfall. The breeze is strong. Maybe it will blow the heaviness away; console the clouds with sweet feathery whispers, absolving the need for tears. In the distance, the sun sets a peachy-pink between two slabs of grey.

There is a sudden burst of rain. It ceases as quickly as it began. Is this a warning of what is to come?

I gaze out from a cluster of rocks at a clearing. The land in the valley of the mountains appears as little rows of square and rectangular patches of green and brown, lined with shrubs and trees. Twinkling lights of orange, green, and blue gather and sprawl out from its center, like little earth-stars; as if I am staring down in to the heavens. I continue on.

It is nearly 9 pm when I stop for coffee.  I bring it to another rock with a clearing and gaze again at the city below. This time I see fireworks in the distance. It is eleven seconds before the sounds of explosion reach me.

It is now 10:10. The stars are shining. I become less fearful of the rain. I hear an owl in the distance.

The moon peers through the trees in its radiant silvery splendor. So bright and nearly full. I let it’s light wash over me. I sing the Gayatri.

Soon the wind returns. This time with gusts much heavier. There is a coolness, a moisture in the air. It is near 2 am. I become concerned that it may rain. I begin to look around for a campsite. Soon I see one and pitch my tent.

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