April 1, 2000

Allen Gap, NC 15 Miles Hiked Today 286 of 2167 Miles Hiked Total

Snake!Snake! Saw my first "cool" beast today coming out of Hot Springs, near Lovers Leap Rock. It was a five foot long black snake laying halfway across the trail sunning itself. I almost stepped on it before I saw it. Being curious, of course I touched it. It started to leave and then I coaxed it along so that other hikers wouldn't kill it. Not everyone is snake-friendly.

The rest of the day passed with out too much incident until this afternoon. Two guys that I am hiking with had their water purifier/filter handle break off. It was so hard to pump they could barely push it and it snapped. Now the trick for them is where they can get a new one. Luckily they have backup iodine pills and are staying the same place I am tomorrow, so are able to use my filter. I also offered them my iodine pills in the case we need to split up.

Camping next to Allen Gap and Highway 70Our campsite tonight sucks. It is 50 feet from a highway, but what is the choice but hike a lot farther? It seems like a quiet road and we are mostly hidden by trees from the speeding cars.

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