Clarks Ferry Shelter to tenting at mile 1,185.5 – 38.1 miles
Definitely my worst night sleep of the hike. It was hot and I couldn’t get cool or comfortable. I woke every couple hours, just bad. I have to get water before I leave the shelter this morning because I realized last night when looking at my guide book that the next water source is about 13 miles into the day. I have enough water for a few miles, but not enough to get me 13. It annoys me I have to get water before starting the day. I like to just get out and go, which is why I usually top off my water the night before, but last night I didn’t.
After getting water downhill from the shelter, I finally hit the trail at 5:45 AM. It is a pretty solid day with a nice, even effort. I confront my first copperhead. Too close for comfort. As I am making my way through a boulder area in the warm sun, I am keeping my eyes peeled for snakes. I pause to look at something down the slope to my right. I then turn back to the left to start walking again and as I lift my foot, I see the snake literally 12 inches in front of my toes. It doesn’t move; it’s just looking at me. The top half of its body is exposed and the back half is under a rock. It is not very big. I step up on the rock to my left, take a picture, and move on. Thank goodness I stopped when I did and did not keep walking without watching my feet.
There are a few good climbs this morning. It’s probably been since North Carolina that there’s been a one mile climb though. It isn’t bad; it’s just been a while. It is a hot one again, pushing 90 degrees, even after 5 PM. On one long climb in the heat, I stop at a spring to fill up. This is one time that I am very tempted to drink straight from the spring, but I’m not taking a chance. The water feels like its refrigerated. It is so cold and it feels great on this hot day. I treat it and wait the necessary 15 minutes before chugging it. It tastes so good!
I get to camp about 6:50 PM. I eat a Mountain House Chicken Teriyaki with Rice (2.5 serving) entree [all my dinner entrees are 2-3 servings] and a MRE lemon poppy seed pound cake. The meal is amazing and really hits the spot. I tent with a group of others. The site is just left of the trail and near the side trail to the water source. The shelter is down a path to the right of the trail, the opposite direction and further from the water.
It is well after 9 PM as I write this. I have to get to sleep. I am getting a 4:30 AM start tomorrow since I need to make 28+ miles to the Port Clinton Post Office before it closes!