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Rattlesnakes within the “Green Tunnel”

The mountains collapse with the passing of days. Only my knees respect. Boredom wins me: we swallow miles of land, rocks and roots within the “green tunnel”, nickname of the Appalachian Trail. Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania … Viewpoints are extra uncommon, typically solely the place the forest is razed for the facility pylons. I despair

I cling to my problem someway. I break the monotony by noting every day just a little second of pleasure.

There are these beautiful brilliant orange newts, cousins ​​of salamanders, deer and turtles that congeal as we go or rattlesnakes that agitate their cascabelle

There are these pines that rustle underneath the wind, these oaks that bombard us with their acorns and rhododendrons that envelop us within the South.

Like a breath of contemporary air, the trail comes out of the forest to cross meadows grazing on cows, corn or soybean fields, roads or villages used to go and refuel and …

Rich commerce with others through -hikers and the generosity of “Trail Angels”, pure strangers who provide meals, water, a elevate or a roof, assist me to carry on.

A “test”

In the night, we eat quick to go to sleep early, usually earlier than and a soothing live performance of locusts. Every evening, discomfort pains wake me up. I miss my mattress! In the morning, the primary steps are painful: it appears just like the window bursts in our overworked toes.

Fatigue wins me; We are solely midway by way of AT

One day, whereas I used to be shot by the warmth and practically drowning in my sweat, a thru-hiker that was ending the AT (he has traveled it discontinuously) tells me he realized this problem to “test his determination.” His phrases whip me

A roasted autumn

A merciless lack of rain darkens the sunny days of autumn. Streams, from which we draw and filter our blue gold, are sometimes dry. It plunges our spirits, forcing us to hold extra water, to make detours to seek out them.

The entire forest is thirsty. The leaves wither, roast. The path is mud. In the night, it’s troublesome to rinse our toes blackened.

The tunnel loses its inexperienced, not simply due to lack of water. It might be my most colourful fall for all times, climbing south because the bushes prepare for winter. From Virginia, the mountains are recovering. In Shenandoah Park, a jewel of some 200,00zero acres, I’m jubilating like a child in entrance of the panoramas and the explosion of colours.

Snow

October 28th. We rise up at 3:30 to hike 52 km to depart the majestic Great Smoky Mountains Park, straddling Tennessee and North Carolina, and head to the following village. A melancholy comes with precipitation and freezing temperatures. We stroll within the fixed rain or sleet. The wind bites. Soaked, we’re chilled as quickly as we decelerate. Seventeen hours later, paradise: heated lodge, scorching bathe, cozy mattress.

One is fortunate: a pal thru-hiker will write to me to have first superior within the rain to seek out caught 42 hours in a shelter three faces, with nights at -10 ° C till the tip of the snowstorm. Wet, its tools froze.

Hungry Belly

“Boom!” My pal and I simply went to sleep after a day of 39 km, in Georgia, when this noise alert us. Our two luggage of meals, hanging on the tip of a rope hanging from the department of a tree to guard them from animals, have simply fallen and … there may be one lacking! The rope hangs on the bottom, intact. We don’t perceive something. It is reinstalled farther from the trunk.

Snuggled in my sleeping bag, I scrutinize the darkness. Thirty minutes later, a black mass approaches with felted steps.

A bear! He managed to open the small carabiner, which held our luggage with the rope, with its massive paws.

Although it’s the noise with the noise, this common of the nook returns always to climb within the tree to steal the second bag of meals. Ah, the damned gourmand!

Its forwards and backwards and uncertainty hold us awake. At midnight, we lastly fold baggage carrying the remainder of our energy as a treasure. The subsequent village is – fortunately – solely 27 km away. We'll get there within the morning, hungry.

Mount Springer

What do landscapes seem like in Georgia? No concept: 126 km of fog and rain! My pal means that we discover a technique to inspire ourselves in the previous couple of miles. I suggest a music stating that we should go to the quantity “2190” (the space of the AT is calculated in miles). I start: “A mile on foot, it wears, it wears, a mile on foot, it wears the shoes …” She sings a couple of verses after which begs me to cease. At quantity 44, she runs away and I chase her singing.

Then, lastly, that's it. Here we’re at Mount Springer. It's over. One hundred and forty-one days. What a journey, what a protracted stroll, what a insanity!

Moved. Muette. The eyes misted. I’m so proud, so … nostalgic, too: nature, forest, mountains, on a regular basis, I miss already. But by the following problem … warmly my mattress!

“Previously Published on: 2018-03-28 09:43:00, as ‘

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