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[at-l] Ready June 8

'Was a clear night, only "interruption" was the incessant call of that 
whippoorwill. I don't believe it had stopped calling for more than a dozen 
30-second respites all night long.
'Awakened about 6:45 to the sound of the other hikers who'd stayed in the 
hut. The topic of conversation? That annoying whippoorwill, of course. Spur 
and I lingered awhile in the tent, not eager to break our quietude by 
chatting it up with so many others.
When we finally emerged from our tent, at about 8:00, most had already 
started out on the trail; only 5 others were still at the site. A 
manageable crowd for us, we had a nice morning chatting and getting our 
gear together. We were on the trail t 9:10.
Easy terrain again today. Easier than either of us had expected. In spite 
of my taking a decidedly slower pace, we had covered 5 miles in no time at 
all. In spite of the relative ease of the treadway, it was a "heavy" hike, 
Spur and I had had cross words exchanged as we left camp, and they were 
carried by us as burdens until after lunch, when Spur finally confronted me 
about the incident which had occurred in the morning.
We talked it out and recognized that there had been much misunderstanding 
about what had been said and what had been meant. The air cleared, we 
proceeded onward, our packs, and moods, feeling significantly lighter. 
Talking is good.
'Met no new hikers today, except for Preacher, whom technicaLy we had met 
yesterday -- he'd passed by as we were eating lunch.
We decided that we didn't want a second night in the midst of "the masses," 
so we made our way to a spring, hoping to find a suitable campsite nearby.
We found a lovely spot near an old shelter structure, which we learned from 
a new Park staff member (Brook) was a gear storage area for the PATC. The 
PATC is the group of volunteers which is responsible for maintaining the 
Trail in Shenandoah National Park.
We enjoyed a supper of Lipton's and hot cocoa at a picnic table, the sound 
of the spring in the background, a lovely young doe meandering about the 
site, apparently hoping that we would be the providers of a few morsels of 
food. A fireball sunset could be seen through the trees as we sat down to 
write our journals.
This has been a very growthful, if difficult, day for me - and for "us," I 
suspect. I look forward to tomorrow.