START: Davenport Gap GSNP 2:55am
FINISH: Log Cabin Drive 11:15pm
52 miles 20:50 2.5 mph
Total miles: 289.6 48.3 mpd
Better day than yesterday. Shin splints continue to improve slowly; but it still is Mercury’s ‘mind over matter’ every minute/hour/day.
Continued good weather helps. Beautiful views atop Snowbird and Max Patch.
The highlight was Jennifer Pharr Davis (current women’s AT record holder and former overall AT record holder for both men and women), meeting Liz on the trail and walking with her into Hot Springs. Jupiter was quite inspired seeing the grace and sportswomanship of Odyssa and Mercury walking together. Bravo!
It also was a boost to Liz to have Tara (Odyssa’s Hot Springs hostel manager) walk 10+ miles with her in the late afternoon/early evening.
No sooner after Tara left and Mercury was on her own again, she experienced her second ‘harrowing’ experience with a momma bear and her two cubs who the quietly treading Mercury surprised up close and personal in some tall grass. Momma took umbrage with this unexpected visitor invading their idyllic early evening frolic by growling, charging and standing on its hind legs much to Mercury’s chagrin.
Supposedly, Mercury issued a shriek much different than the usual ‘eek!’ when one encounters a mouse in their kitchen.
Onward to the town of Erwin where they hung an elephant!