Day 77: Peters Mtn to Rausch Gap
Trip Start Mar 15, 2010
134Trip End Jul 23, 2010
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It was a busy and eventful day today. I'm here in the shelter, Chris is over in my tent (no we didn't have a falling out, yet, I'll explain why later) and Sarah is hopefully safely back in Philly...yes I've heard the Flyers are in the finals and the Lampes do not necessarily endorse this. I wholly disapprove of the matchup. As Chris says, we are pretending it's not even happening.
We got up nice and early to some spectacular sun rays filtering through some light fog. (just enough to allow the sun rays to be visible and create a starburst of light beams.) We scarf down some breakfast and Sarah surprises us with several doughnuts she has packed
in. Yes, Chris' mom, we are getting enough to eat!! (well they are, I can only get full at an all you can eat!)
Hit the trail right after remaking Sarah's destroyed boots with duct tape
We only have 6.5 to get to the car but do manage to have some nice trail conversations and stop at a lovely viewpoint. Sarah and I hike out to the view and Chris cuts across on a different trail to get a picture, then we hear him go "WhOA...there's a rattlesnake!" I guess he got within a couple yards of it before noticing. The snake was decent sized prolly around 2.5-3 ft long and very thick. It also had a loud rattle as we found out when I was approaching to take a picture. (don't worry mom, never got into striking distance!)
I'd never heard a rattlesnake rattle before... The sound was very aggressive and unique.. I had imagined it would sound like a cross between a maraca and that little spitting dinosaur in Jurassic park that eats the fat computer guy trying to get to the ship (I think his
name was Ned) in fact it was much louder and the rattle at a much higher rate of rattle. YouTube it or something!
So my section hiking fan club really got a special treat, some thruhikers go the whole way without seeing one! It was my first sighting too. Then we arrived at the car and guess what...trail magic!!! I need to have Sarah and Chris hike with me more! I hadn't had magic in hundreds of miles! How exciting. So "Slick" hooked us up with some cold soda, muffins and oranges. Delicious!
The shuttling of cars takes a long time. We have to drive back to Duncannon then forward to the end shelter, and then back to the same trailhead. Phew. Sarah takes off at around 2 and we hit the trail. Unfortunately we remember later that Sarah was carrying the tent poles for Chris' tent. We all completely forgot but hopefully Sarah won't mind mailing them to Michigan or dropping them off when she drives there in a couple weeks.
The hike to this shelter was 11 mi further. A long way by any measurement. Chris leads and flies up the 1000 ft mtn, but once up we have to take it a bit easier! By the time we are halfway our feet are hurting and I think Chris was beyond weary. Obviously the terrain is very easy and level here but the rocks underfoot are not. (just ask Sarahs boots!) it took me 2 weeks to work up to a 17 mi day and Chris just knocked one off
We'll both sleep good tonight. It was a blast having Sarah around (as always) and I think it was a good time for her to hit the trail. It would have been great to see Josh and the kids too, but well have to save that for another time.
Hopefully you are all doing well. Keep the great comments going. I'll answer questions or just enjoy reading what you have to say. Sorry you couldn't all have been out with us this weekend. Perhaps though you'd rather just read about rattlesnakes then come across them sunning on
rocks near you!!