Harpers Creek Shelter [mile 830.3]
I heard cicadas today! Or one cicada, maybe two. I hope they find each other. They need a cicada dating service. Cicadamatch.com. “Squat burly bug seeks same for brief but committed relationship.” How would you like to be the only cicada left standing? That’s gotta suck.
When I woke up it was gray, gray, gray. It didn’t seem to be actively raining, though. The fly seemed dry, but everything inside the tent was damp. I gave it until 7 to see if the sun might come out—and if it had, I might have waited and dried things completely. But no such luck. And in fact, when I got out of the tent, it was cold and blustery and overcast. I was cold enough to wear my raingear… and a good thing, too, because an hour later it started to rain again.
I climbed the mountain to the Priest Shelter. On the way I passed a sculpture garden made, presumably, by bored hikers.
By the time I hit the Priest, the sun had come out! Joy! Rapture! I changed into shorts and hung my insanely stinky socks on my pack. I missed the actual Priest, which I take it is a rock or a view or something, because I thought there’d be a sign. D’oh! Still, the views on the way down the mountain were gorgeous. Pastoral.
I saw a couple of orange salamanders and a toad. Yay, scaly things! The AT is the capital of things that slither and hop.
The trail down from the Priest was rough: technical and rocky. And at the bottom another suspension bridge. Those things freak me out just a little. They wobble in a different direction than I walk.
But across the river… trail magic! And potentially offensive humor!
That trail magic, like yesterday’s, literally saved me. I’m so low on food than an apple and a birch beer were desperately needed to get me up the next mountain. Thank you, trail angel!
I didn’t, however, get all the way up the mountain. I made it 12 miles and stopped at this lovely creekside shelter. Well… I’m not quite at the shelter. Down the hill a bit. Some female section hikers are staying nearby. A group of five or six of them. They’re working their way northward a week at a time.
I’ve got everything dried or drying. Crows are calling, and the setting sun is painting leaf shadows on the side of my tent.
The people up the hill are grilling food. Yum! I light have to sneak up there and annihilate their camp, and steal whatever it is they’re cooking.
Hey, Waynesboro has an Outback! Wonder if I’ll be staying anywhere near it?