Mile:1151.1 - 1180.5
I wake up in the darkness convinced my tent is leaking. My pad feels wet and I fell asleep to the roll of thunder and near continuous lightning flashes overhead. Nope, that's just a pool of sweat and the clammy mugginess that no longer seems to go away. I try to fall back asleep but it's a broken few hours and everything is damp when I pack up.
Viewpoints aren't too great today.
The first 13 miles are long. There's not even a hint of a breeze and just enough rocks and rollers to keep me paying attention. It should be easy ridge line walking but miles are just crawling by. I put my head down and eventually make it to a spring. It's glorious and cold and I never want to leave. A perfect morning break spot.
A few faster folks pass and as the trail dips down to the highway I'm startled by a climb. Again it's not the climb itself just the absurd amount of sweat that pours off me. It's a more crowded section of trail but despite the people I seem to be going my own pace and just keep steadily plodding along alone. The climb is nice old fire road with a great grade and it even seems just slightly less humid. Woohoo!
The biggest downside of the day, 2 of 3 expected water sources in the afternoon were dry. I've been warned this starts to happen in July, I guess this is the start. I was okay with an unexpected dry stretch but some other folks looked pretty unhappy. It's honestly the hikers with dogs that worry me the most.
Someone left a note on the trail warning about a rattlesnake, and yup it's a giant one.
It was wide awake as I walked by and don't worry I only zoomed in, I gave this guy one giant berth.
The afternoon thunder sounds much more impressive than the rain it brings. But it is a solid bit of water. But it's an easy grade again and not too rocky so it's really not even a bother.
It starts pouring again around 7 and never really stops, just lightens up a bit. I hike with Rest Stop towards the end of the day and we end up camping just after a highway crossing. We're stopped a few miles before the larger interstate and the last water source for 9 miles. I guess these slightly longer stretches will be the new norm. Hopefully the going to bed damp with soaking wet shoes won't be as common as the dryness.
At least the fireflies are fantastic and the berries are ripening.
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