The Appalachian Trail was kinder today in spite of lots of elevation gain. But the gain and loss of elevation didn't exceed reasonable steepness. Plus the wildflowers provided many delights including more trilliums - white, purple and yellow - than I have ever seen before. After I gained 2500 feet of elevation over 5 miles from Standing Bear Farm, I dropped 1200 feet over 2.5 miles to Ground Hog Gap. I got water and ate a snack with four hikers I had not met before. Another climb and descent to Brown Gap for lunch. Refueled, I climbed 1100 feet of elevation to Max Patch summit, a scenic bald as the photo shows. The colors in the photo don't convey the subtleties of green and brown that I saw. A 9-mile gradual descent brought me to Lemon Gap where I got water and visited with two section hikers. One more climb took me to the Walnut Mountain shelter, a tiny and shabby structure. Storm clouds prompted me to find a tent site and cook dinner. The rain started just as I finished eating. In my cozy tent listening to the thunderstorm. Today's miles - 20.0. Total miles - 260.6.