Sunday, June 10, 2001

day 29, Double Springs S, TN

Start:  Watauga Lake Shelter
End:  Double Springs Shelter
Miles:  21.7 today, 435.9 total

I came really close to stepping on a rattlesnake today.  As in, 2 or 3 more feet and he would be under my boot.  I was walking through some really thick grass, the kind that I really hate when it rains.  I didn't see it until I was right up on it, and I immediately stepped back about 20 feet.  He noticed my presence about then and started shaking his tail.  This one was bigger and had a more defined rattle than the one I almost stepped on in Georgia.  And again, I made a big loop around him through the underbrush to the side of the trail (hopefully there was no poison ivy).  I kept yelling, "Keep singing, buddy!" so I'd know where he was.

For once in a long while the weather was nice all day.  And, up until the last 3 miles or so, I had an almost perfect hike.  It was pretty satisfying.  But then, with 3 miles left, I started feeling what I thought was a rock under my left big toe.  I stopped and took off my boot to find a brand new blister.  Oh boy!  So I put some moleskin on it and limped to the shelter.  To date, the biggest problem physically has been my feet.  Fighting blisters has been a main concern.  I hope I can keep them under control.

Tomorrow I do 18-ish miles into Damascus, 5 days ahead of schedule!  Bring on Virginia!

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