Day 66 on the Appalachian Trail

Today was a better day. A relatively level trail helped, in spite of its of many rocky stretches. A half-hour of rain between 7:00am and 7:30am didn't faze me. Most of the day ran through young forest with understories of either dense shrubs (mountain laurel and blueberry) or sometimes 3-foot tall ferns. The mountain laurels had a mixture of old, orange, dried up flowers and fresh white flowers. Heavy rains a week ago may have induced the recent flowering. I listened to Fresh Air podcasts about Supreme Court Justice Lewis Brandeis and about the Republicans' successful effort to steer the 2010 redistricting in key states to ensure more Republican congress persons. Listening to the podcasts took my mind off the rocks on the trail. About 9 miles on the day, I got water from a stream for the remaining 10 miles to the Eagles Nest shelter. Shortly thereafter, I ate lunch on a log next to the trail. As I finished, fellow hiker Rush appeared. I hadn't seen him for two weeks. It turned out that he is quitting the trail today. We hiked together for a mile to a trail angel cache of goodies, then he went ahead. Ghost appeared and we hiked on. About 3pm, I turned on the side trail to the Eagles Nest shelter. Actually, I didn't go to the shelter. Rather, I camped at a first class site soon after the turnoff (see photo). Weekend hiker Dorothy was already there. Ghost arrived soon. A spring was 50 yards away. I set up my tent then got water. Dorothy made a fire around which we ate our dinners. A good day, especially after yesterday, plus I passed the 1200-mile mark. Today's miles - 19.2. Total miles - 1208.2.

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