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Mile 677.5—Campsite [12.1 miles]
Saturday, May 12

Rough day! In a nutshell, it was a driving downpour all day. Knowing it was coming didn’t help. Oh, and I started the day by… pooping on my shoes.

Pooping in the backcountry is always an adventure. First, it’s always an emergency. It’s not a leisurely ‘grab a magazine’ kind of thing. Particularly if you’re near a shelter with a privy, in which case you’re sweating bullets to try to get to the privy, and if you can’t make it it’s because the situation got dire. So your location isn’t apt to be perfect. Sometimes you’re on a hill. Second, I never hit the hole, which always necessitates post-deed transportation. So this morning I must have missed something, which I ended up stepping in and getting all over my pants. Which I didn’t notice until I got to the shelter. Iew. Iew. Iew. As gross as this lifestyle is, it’s nice to see there are still things that are disgusting. Plus, the rain took care of everything. 😁

Saw another black snake, and also a salamander and a turtle. Guess I’d better add all the reptiles to the game!

Snakes: 4Frogs: 1
Turtles: 1
Red salamanders (elts?): 2

Oh, and I saw a deer! It was running like hell and it was making a sound, like a bray. I’ve never heard a deer make noise like that. Weird.


Mile 665.4—Campsite [15.1 miles]
Friday, May 10

It’s a weird thing, memory. I had tremendously clear memories of things from the first 500 miles or so. Clear, and accurate. As the hike continues, the memories are more muddled. I’m doing whole stretches that I don’t remember at all. And in other cases, I’m remembering things but putting them in the wrong places. Like today… I was pretty sure this was the stretch where I saw the pissed-off rattlesnake, but when I got to the shelter, the landscape architecture wasn’t uite the same. Meh. At Harper’s Ferry, it’s all brand new anyway (since last time I did the northern half SOBO, in different seasons).

Lots of jungle walking today, and lots of rocky ridges, hard on the feet. I swear, when hikers whine about Pennsylvania, it’s because they’ve blocked Virginia out of their minds.

I saw another big black snake. Are we playing Snakes Versus Frogs again? Let’s! Let’s do it! OK, the current score is 3 snakes, 1 frog. I saw one of each today.

So, sad news. Looks like The Captain’s Place has closed. He lives on the other side of a big creek and opened his yard and porch to hikers, to hang and drink soda and camp. People hung and swam. He was a super nice trail angel. Looks like he wasn’t open last year, either. Reading the old comments, it looks like one of his dogs bit a hiker in 2017, and I’m guessing his insurance people said, “Uh… no. Stop with the hikers in your back yard.” I wasn’t going to stop there today, but I stayed there in ‘13. Sad to see him go.

I’m camping alone! The sun was brutal today, up on that ridge. The beast kids are pushing 4 miles to the next shelter, but I doubt they started at 6:30 AM.

The rain never did come today. I’m still hearing it’s supposed to be a wet weekend. We’ll see!