Appalachian Trail Journals 07-10-03

Journals From A 2003 Thru-Hike of the Appalachian Trail (by Loony)

Entry #91 – July 10, 2003

7:55 PM – Yesterday was another pretty easy day of walking, except for the rocky spots. A lot of the trail lately is all rocks sticking straight up, pointy edges waiting to pummel your feet. The infamous PA rocks, I suppose. There are also many boulder “fields” where you just hop from one huge rock to the next. I was crossing one of these yesterday that I got quite a surprise. I was concentrating on the rocks & my next move when I saw something moving in front of me. I looked up to see a big rattlesnake slithering away. I let out half a scream (more of a yell, but Andy insists a scream) and then…saw another coiled up a bit further on. I was all black – well, black on black, I guess, because you could see the rattler pattern on it. The first one slid under a rock, but the dark one just lay there. I had immediately turned around & headed back towards Andy. After seeing the two there, my first thought was that we could be surrounded by them – stumbled into a big snakepit! Didn’t see any others, though so we slowly advanced. The black snake still didn’t move. Eventually, (God knows why?!) Andy started poking it with a stick! I told him to knock it off & let’s get out of there. I was definitely paying more attention to the trail after that.

Got to the road, but didn’t find much traffic, so it took us a while to get a ride. The guy who picked us up had gone by once the opposite way, which we didn’t notice. He came back and pulled over saying he had felt bad seeing us there, so he turned around. Lucky for us! He brought us into Pine Grove where we did a load of laundry & got a snack at the gas station. After that we hitched again to get to the EconoLodge with some Italian guy.

We had a good, relaxing afternoon & evening then. Didn’t have to do a million chores or errands or go anywhere except next door to McDonalds. Watched a couple of movies and made some calls.

Left around 10 this morning ready to try to hitch another ride. We were standing on the road in front of the hotel when all of a sudden Loser, his sister(?) & T-Bird pulled up in a van! Loser was headed off the Trail for a few days, so they were bumming around a bit giving rides. We were on the Trail by 11:00.

Hiked about 13 to Santara Spring where we’re tenting.

It’s been raining on & off today. We got in the tent about 6:30 instead of sitting out in the “Tree Pee.”On to Port Clinton tomorrow. I think we have a mail drop, and we might just stay there. Free camping under their pavilion. Good for keeping out of the rain.