Thursday, July 20, 2017 (Day 78)
I woke to hikers rushing by me. The first moved swiftly in the earliest part of the morning. I could barely sense them. The next to pass was a group of three. They were young section hikers. They were quarelling over something or other; there was yelling up the trail, an uber was called, four brassy colored cans of chilli were abandoned at the shelter junction. “Do you want them, do you need a spoon?”.
“No, thanks”. By that time I had pulled myself out of my sleeping bag. He ran up the trail to catch the other two hikers and the summoned automobile.
I passed by Washington Monument State Park, named for the original Washington Monument, built there in 1827.
There were benches and green grass and electrified bathrooms and a water spigot.
I continued on and stopped at a shelter for water collection. It was rather far off trail and was not flowing strongly. I said hello to the familiar faces in the shelter. I sat at the bench and drank a liter of water and went on my way.
The sun had set, I wanted to get to the water source four miles out. I hiked by the light of my headlamp.
I finally came to the curving creek with its little cascades and grey and white and copper colored stones. Supported by limb and root, I lowered myself to a reasonable point of collection. The rocks shifted; a rush of uncertainty. I filled my bottles, climbed back up, and sprawled out on the banks.
I listened to the water. In Just .10 of a mile, on the other side of the creek, is a road. I could see the blurring headlamps through the trees, feel the weight of their motion. I dislike being so near a road…at least the creek is nearer, still.