12 by 12

Saturday, July 2, 2016
Gravel Springs Hut (955.7)

Today got up at 5:15 with the ambition of making a "12-by-12" which is mentioned in Gabe's blog; a goal of hiking 12 miles by noon. The next Wayside is that far away, so on the trail at 6.

Two more instances of coming around a corner and see deer standing on the trail, casually looking at me, one eyebrow raised, asking "Yes?"

Sorry for quality, zoom tends to be grainy.

A couple miles out meet a young woman coming down from"Mary's Rock", and she suggests I see it. I have too many miles to do, so demure, and she heads down hill. Follow her at a discrete distance and about a mile further she stops to take a picture. Think, that's kind of odd, there's nothing apparent to take a picture of, but when I get closer she says "There's a bear.", and so there was. Like a big dog, looking over its shoulder as it heads down the trail. We follow at a distance, and it returns to the woods.

Get to Elkwallow Wayside at 11:30 (okay, it's 11.8 miles). Get soda, then a BLT, a hot dog, and a Gatorade for lunch. Stay until 12:30.

Get back on trail for last 5.5 miles, and after talking to a young family about the AT, go for a few steps and do something to my left foot. End up limp-walking to shelter but still make good time.

Lots of people here, it is a holiday weekend. Gabe and I talk about the next couple days, including a 13+ hike tomorrow to get us into Front Royal, VA for two nights.

View at 6:14 in the morning.

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