Day 59 -May 5 2017 – 12.6 miles – Davis Hollow to Knot Maul Shelter
We decided to take it easy after the fast pace of yesterday. It had rained overnight and it was just petering out when I woke up. It was pretty early so I decided that I could relieve myself right next to my hammock without risk of being seen. In the middle of relieving myself Flashfire came around the bend. I quickly ducked under my rain tarp to avoid an embarrassing scene. She was going to get water from the spring nearby. I was unknowingly camped next to the path to the spring.
Speaking of the spring, it was one of the weirdest ones I had ever seen. When we came up to it it was surrounded by branches and dirt. It looked like it was going to be a muddy water source. When we got closer it proved to be the complete opposite. The water was crystal clear. The spring was very wide and looked like it ran deep. With the overcast sky it somehow looked ominous to me. I wish I took a picture because I never saw another one quite like it.
By the time we got back on trail the skies had become clear with white puffy clouds.
The first milestone of the day was a significant one. The quarter point of the AT. While we enjoying a snack at the sign I realized that while we may be at the quarter point mileage wise, time wise we were beyond the quarter way point. It had taken Stoat and I fifty nine days (including 8 days off due to the flu) to get that far. We knew it would not take another 177 days (59 x 3) to get to the end. We were getting a lot faster and we were doing more miles.
The terrain had a lot of rolling hills. Even though we still had over 4000 feet of elevation change the days hike felt easier.
Stoat and I ate lunch with Scarecrow next to a country road and talked for a bit.
After lunch we came to a river that was swollen from the recent rains. If it was a few inches higher it would have gone over the bridge. There was an old building nearby that I thought looked interesting. I later found out that it had been a mill at one time.
After the mill we got to a section that , again, reminded me of out west. There were even cattle prints from a recent cattle drive. (Do they still call it a drive?)
When Stoat and I got to the shelter Zeus and Flashfire were already there. Flashfire said to me, “You do not want to see me today?” I didn’t know what she was talking about and told her so. “You hid from me this morning. I guess you do not want to talk to me”, she said. I laughed and said, “I was in the middle of peeing!” Flashfires eyes went wide and she started to blush. She quickly said, “I couldn’t see anything!” I told her that that didn’t make me feel any better. She paused for a second then burst out laughing.
Fashfire got her name because she was a fast hiker and she liked starting campfires. Our group worked out a deal that everyone else would collect the wood and she would tend the fire. That worked out pretty well.