On my way down from Big Butt Mountain, a coyote walked onto the trail about thirty yards ahead of me. He turned and stared at me, his short ears cupped alertly, his black nose pointed at me down the barrel of his gray snout. We exchanged a moment of mutual respect, and then he trotted off into the woods. I stopped to cook lunch at Jerry Cabin Shelter, but flies descended on me. I filtered water from the spring and hurried on with snacks in my pockets to hold me over.
After three miles, the trail went up to an exposed, rocky ridge where rhododendron and mountain laurel bloomed in fuchsia, pink, and white. Every sandy niche between the large rocks held its own enclave of species that were new to me: plants with sparkler-like white flowers ending in cone shapes atop hairy green stalks, tan-and-black beetles shaped like June bugs mating on beds of white flowers, fuzzy bees and shiny bees spreading pollen with such abandonment that a heady floral scent lofted into the air.
下午晚些时候我达到小月桂庇护。Gnats were waiting. They drew blood from my arm before I could pull an insect-repellent wipe from my pack. I grabbed a few snacks out of my food bag and scrammed. Lunch postponed again.
The next four miles to Hemlock Hollow Hostel were downhill or level and the trail smooth and dry. The urge to sing came over me. I sang like an Italian opera singer, with the gusto of Luciano Pavarotti. The words were gibberish, but sounded good—to me. I don’t sing with self-abandonment in public. I keep the inner wild man a secret. But the trees tell no tales.
经过短暂的走下步道一个国家的道路上，铁杉空心旅馆映入眼帘超过一条小溪穿过一座小桥的欢迎方式。它看起来冷清傍晚。提醒我的存在被狂吠的狗，一个人出现。狗的名字是A.T.因为他在走下步道一天，留了下来。一旦我们进行了介绍，他停止了吠叫和爱我上下。在。英俊潇洒，毛茸茸的，他看上去是部分赫斯基。那人把我领进工棚。经过淋浴始终是最高优先级的我熟墨西哥牛肉饭和玉米and pineapple upside-down cake for dessert. The bunkhouse had a table and kitchenette with bunks for eight people, but I had it to myself. The porch overlooked Paint Creek. I sat out there for an hour under a full moon, listening to a rising chorus of tree frogs and the sound of water poppling over rocks.
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