5:15 Alarm. Breakfast, pack up
7:40 Trailhead. Ritual photos, up the trail at 7:45.
Woman hiker from Richmond coming downhill assures us that the spring at the Priest is running -- so I didn't need to carry the extra two liters of water? Of course you did, she says, you need the practice.
10:10 How much farther? About as far as we've gone. B wants to summit, says maybe 10:45 turnaround. I tell her that I will be worried if she starts back too late.
10:40 Barbara turns around and heads back to the Tye River trailhead.
12:00 Lunch. Moderately traveled trail, but no thru hikers. Pair of hikers overtaking me assures that Barbara was heading down in good order.
1:30. The Priest. 6 hours, 4 miles, 4000 feet, first day, 46# pack including double water rations. Pretty good, eh?
|A congratulatory flower|
Hikers already at the Priest point me to where a rattlesnake had been sunning on a rock, but it had just slipped away. Maybe it was the smell of my Skeeter Beater® ?
|Guardian of the trail to The Priest|
My "confession" for the log at The Priest shelter (an AT hiker tradition) Forgive me for MISS leading two young women who were worried about the snake that had disappeared into the brush (so, two misses, actually). Knowing that the thought would disturb their sleep, I told them that they should not be concerned, and assured them that although they do seek heat I had never heard of a snake actually slipping under a tent to get warm ... heh heh.