Lone Growth

Day 121 (Mile 1659.5 – 1675.3):

20170814_112602

Woke up, hiked down the mountain to refill water at the Peru Peak Shelter to find Disciple and Cur Dog packing up to leave. We talked a bit while I filtered my water and split from there. They mentioned that no one was there to collect the $5 payment for the shelter. Definitely would have made the extra effort last night if I knew that.

Shortly after filling up water, I found myself on an endless plank bridge along Griffith Lake. The official term for this structure by the way is puncheon. This section of puncheons may be the longest yet on the entire AT. This term does not come up in Google, but if you were really interested in reading more on National Park Service structures of the trail, click here.

 

20170814_123350After crossing a relatively new looking suspension bridge, there were some south bounders chilling there so I decided to take a longish break to talk to them. One of them was European I believe from Great Britain based on her accent.

Started to read the Steve Jobs book I had downloaded back in Manchester Center. I made the purchase of this digital download not only because I was bored out of my mind with my own thoughts and current playlist of music, but because, I had picked up this book in college, never finishing it. Interestingly as I was listening, the book that was recommended to me to buy by that old folk in Manchester Center, “Be Here Now” by Ram Dass was referenced. Quite the coincidence.

Not too sure on the purpose or reason, but at mile 1674.8 by a side trail to a view called “White Rocks” there is a rock garden of sorts. I thought it was pretty cool so I took some photos. 20170814_17192820170814_171947

Decided to walk the .4 miles off the trail to a shelter with a poor water source according to Guthook. I was going to leave since the source was the smallest trickle I have seen on the trail, but I happened to meet these two very interesting people so I borrowed Cur Dog’s method of retrieving the water with the cut bottom half of a sawyer squeeze out of a puddle and set up my tent for the night. Brilliant idea to be honest. If I go on another through hike, I will be sure to make a cup like that for scooping up at poor water sources.

Those two people were a Mother (Momma Bear) and Daughter (forgot name) section hiking. The daughter looked really young but was going into her sophomore year at Brown University. Not that the daughter was not interesting, I was more interested in speaking with Mamma Bear who spent her younger years traveling all over the world. I took some notes. I mentioned it is really remarkable that she traveled alone without the help of the internet. With the internet at least one would be able to get an idea of where your going looks like. In response she mentioned that there were these travel books and if you didn’t know how to speak the language, you could show certain people the book and they would know exactly what you wanted. She knew several languages, but for when she didn’t it is truly remarkable to me how she navigated by herself.

Travel was not the only topic. We talked about the trail as well. Mamma Bear showed concern for her daughter’s will to hike the entire AT after she had finished school. I have heard the concern from practically every person I have come in contact with when I said I was or was going to thru-hike the Appalachian Trail. Yes, you need to use your best judgement, but the trail is not as dangerous as one might think. I understand the perspective (With the exception that I do not have children of my own), without knowledge of the unknown, what it actually is like out here, the unknown can seem quite frightening. While it is not necessary I told Mamma Bear she could hike with a dog and bring a GPS communication device. She seemed to warm up to the idea. When it comes down to it though, the decision is really up to the daughter and for Momma Bear to learn to let her daughter grow outside the nest.

Side Note:
– I have no idea what I was trying to accomplish or if I was accidentally taking photos…but here is one of the photos I took somewhere after Griffith Lake and before the suspension bridge:20170814_113720

 

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