Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Day 102: Back on the Trail Again...

June 17: Amanda had to leave early this morning, which is how I found myself standing at the side of Dennytown Road at 5:45 in the morning. My pack was bursting with food to get me all of the way to Dalton--two states away in Massachusetts! I could have resupplied in Kent, Connecticut, but I'd been to Kent during my first thru-hike and saw no need to return. So I loaded up with supplies to get me to Dalton about 150 miles away. And maybe, if I didn't get off trail very much, I might catch up with some of the people I knew. I'd covered about 25 miles in the last 5 days. Everyone I knew was way ahead me by now, but if they took a zero day or two along the way, I figured I might catch up with some.

I was totally surprised when just a couple of hours later, I caught up with Silent Bob. I had hoped to catch up with a familiar face, but I figured it would take me a lot longer than just a couple of hours! So I asked what had happened. He had gone with Tortoise and Hare to see Jurassic World.

"And that took four days?!" I asked.

Yes, and he explained that he thought they'd be going to some local theater somewhat near the trail when one of their parents picked them up, but it turns out they went to a family reunion back in Pennsylvania which is where they were to watch the movie. Then he was stuck at this family reunion for three days with no way to get back to the trail until the parents drove everyone back again. He seemed a little upset about losing three full days on the trail because of a movie.

"Well, I hope the movie was good," I said.

He nodded. "Yes, it was good."

I also heard from other hikers that Little Red and Chuckles weren't far behind me on the trail either, and I wrote a message in the register to tell them to hurry and catch up because darn it, I miss my friends!

At the RPH Shelter, there's a pump to get water. I was a little disappointed to find a sign next to it warning people to treat the water because the water has tested positive for "coliform bacteria." I'd never heard of coliform bacteria and tried to decide how dangerous the water would be to drink untreated. I didn't have any way to treat water even if I wanted to. For the most part, I trust pumped water much more than surface water, but I've never deliberately drank untreated water that I knew was contaminated.

Or maybe they just put the sign up to scare people into treating water? Hmm... I just didn't know. Although 'coliform bacteria' sounded fairly specific. And even if there was some sort of bacteria infesting the water, was it in large enough concentrations to affect people? I didn't know!

Not really have much other option at moment, I filled up a water bottle with the hope of replacing it with better water somewhere else before I actually needed to drink it. I did wind up drinking some, but not much. I never did get sick, though. Take it for what it's worth! =) I have since found out that the presence of coliform bacteria is confirmation of fecal contamination.

While lingering at the shelter eating a snack, a fellow by the name of Bambi showed up who told me he had started the trail on April 27th--nearly two months after I did! Holy cow! This guy was hauling! Without a doubt, I'd never see this guy again after today!

It turns out he had also thru-hiked the Arizona Trail the same year I did so we wound up spending most of our time reminiscing about the Arizona Trail. It was the first AZT thru-hiker I had bumped into in the "wild." And we talked a lot, mostly comparing the Arizona Trail to the Appalachian Trail.

"Despite the coliform bacteria in the water here, I'd still prefer this water than the crap we had to drink on the Arizona Trail!"

Marching onward, parts of the trail had hundreds and hundreds of tiny little baby frogs. I didn't even realize they were frogs at first. They looked like a bunch of bugs buzzing around erratically near my feet. I wasn't until I bend down to get a better view of them that I recognized them as tiny little frogs. How did they get so small?! I must have seen hundreds of not thousands of them on the trail. Where did they all come from? I must have stepped on a few of them--they were so thick it would be hard not to--but it was a little weird walking among so many of them.

I guess snakes must like eating these baby frogs because I wound up seeing four of them today--more than any other day on the entire trail. Snakes and frogs everywhere! They're attacking!

I finished the day at the Morgan Stewart Shelter after a solid 20 miles of hiking. The only person to show up at the shelter was Silent Bob, who--as you might expect--didn't have much to say. It was nice to share a shelter with just one other person rather than the larger crowds that usually fill them up. But where was everyone?!

Hello, cute little snake! =)

Inside the RPH Shelter

The pump at the RPH Shelter.

But how safe is the water to drink? Hmm....

Lots of dragonflies today as well. Lots of them! Especially resting on the wooden foot-boards across bogs and creeks.


BrockBrood said...

I love your blogs and hate when they end.... It's like waiting for the next book in a series to come out!
That was an interesting flower picture. Do you know what type it is? Looks like it would make a good carve.

Ryan said...

I should have enough blog posts to keep this up for at least a few more months! The blog won't run "dry" for quite awhile! =)

As for the flower.... I have no idea what it is. Anyone who knows that stuff is welcome to answer the question, though!

BrockBrood said...

YAY!! Looking forward to all of the posts....

Unknown said...

Beautiful pictures! And indeed - Jurassic World is a great movie.

Also, I've heard of treating water -- but how do you disinfect it? Lol

Ryan said...

There are several ways to treat water: boiling it, filtering it, chemicals, UV light (I've heard you can even "treat" water in a clear plastic bottle by leaving it in directly sunlight for a period of time--which I suppose I could have used that method!)

-- Ryan