We hit the trail pretty early, trying to Beattie heat, and by 10 were finding the pretty,blue-green water of the swimming hole. We ended up having it all to ourselves, and so we hung out there for a while. I would bet money that the water temp was about 53 degrees. That seems to be the water temp of all the ground springs around here. It was so cold, that when you jumped in, you could catch your breath, and when you got out, body parts actually hurt! We knew this would help us stay cool as we hiked though, so we jumped in several times. It was sure a beautiful spot!
We hiked on, and it wasn't long before we encountered a timber rattler right on the trail! I had been expecting this in Pennsylvania, but it still was pretty disconcerting to walk up on one coiled up in the middle of the trail. Swamprat moved it off the trail with his trekking poles, and we continued on. With 30 minutes, we found another one on the trail, this one a juvenile, only about 18 inches long. About an hour later, Keith was leading, and crossed a stream, and immediately heard a rattler. He froze and backed up, looking around for it. It was not in the trail, but in the grass right on the edge, and he was huge. He was also not about to let anyone get near. Swamprat eventually moved him also, his rattler loudly rattling the whole time. I am beginning to hate that sound.
- Steady and F100