Wednesday, September 26, 2012:
No AT thru-hike is complete until you've had an encounter with a rattlesnake. Mine finally came today, near the summit of The Priest. I've seen rattlers before, especially out in Colorado where I lived for ten years. But here in the east, in all of my years, this is only the second. And the first one I saw was a mere two miles away, on the trail up Crabtree Falls! Coincidence? A Rattlesnake hot-spot? Who knows.
There were other significant headlines I could have used today. For example: Under 500 miles to go! To be precise, after today's hike, I have 499.8 official AT miles left to hike to complete my 2012 double.
Another more personal headline might be "Throw away the Ibuprofen" - after three days using it to combat a sore left knee (caused by trying to do too much too fast on the very first day down south after four zero days), I was back to my usual medication-free status. This was the first time I had relied on 'Vitamin I' to aid my hike since the one day back down south when I woke up with a swollen twisted ankle.
I could also headline today as the day of my second encounter with a hiker I'd first met up north. 'Banjo' is doing a flip-flop from Delaware Water Gap. I do not recall where we met (and he didn't say), nor what was said in our conversation up there, but for a change I did distinctly remember his face. Speaking of rattlesnake hot spots, Banjo also saw one today while going over Three Ridges.
|View E from 2900 feet on N spur of The Priest|
|Spy Rock view, taken June 14, 2011|
|Woods road to Little Priest and Rocky Run|
So it was a headline day. I'd be eternally happy if every day was so packed with memorable moments.
Here's the map of the route of today's hike, with a link to more photos:
AT Day 240 - The Priest at EveryTrail
EveryTrail - Find the best Hiking in Virginia
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