Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Our First (and hopefully last) Timber Rattler

We all agreed to get an early start. It had rained all night, and it had cooled off things nicely. It was breezy and cool, and a welcomed change! Our goal for the day was Loft Mt. Campground,16 miles away. It had a wayside open til 5:30 where we could have burgers and fries (and of course, a cold Coke!). We were very low on water, and the first spring was 10 miles away. Swamprat and I tend to drink a lot. We divided up our water and tried to pace ourselves on using it. That was the first time we've had to do that, and I was wishing I had stashed an extra bottle. This was the longest stretch we'd gone without springs. Luckily, it was much cooler today. We reached the Blackrock Shelter and found a wonderful piped spring with the best water we've had so far. I finished off a whole liter and got some more before we left.

While there satin Lin h, wemet an Australian thruhiker named Big Orange and a section hiker who did not have a trail name. He and Keith really hit it off because they were both Ford men. Keith ended up naming him F250. We weren't sure if he'd use it or not.

After we left the spring, we ran into two Park Rangers on the trail. One of them was in training. He was huge. He reminded me of the Rock. Keith kidded around with them, examining their badges, and asking if they were Rangers or Junior Rangers. The big one, who was probably 6 foot 6 smiled big and said that he was. Junior Ranger. We all laughed.

We kept on hiking, crossing the Skyline several more times before reaching the trail to the Loft Mt. Campground, with only about an hour to spare before the Wayside closed. We quickly found a site, got registered, and Keith yogi'd a ride from a lady hiker who was doing laundry. We ended up having the best burger and fries before the place closed!

We had to walk back to the tent site, and so tried to hitch. The very first vehicle stopped, and it was the nicest family from Germany who were on a 2 week road trip in an RV. They took us to our site, and we enjoyed swapping stories with them along the way. They had not heard of the AT, so it was fun explaining it to them.

After supper, we grabbed a shower (5 minutes for a dollar!) and did laundry. On the way to the bathhouse, Keith was excited because we saw a Timber Rattler. Of course, the boys had to mess with it with their poles until it rattled at them. I personally could have avoided all of this and been happier.

We also de barged batteries and grabbed ice cream at the camp store.

- Steady and F100

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