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[at-l] Ready's Journal: June 22 Part 2 TD17

>Even more than ferns, I love pine forests.  We had some of each 
>today.  Fields of ferns as far as the eye could see and pine forest, where 
>the air is filled with fresh scent and the turf beneath your feet is soft 
>and pliant.
>Nearly from the start of our hike, we'd seen raspberry bushes, but the 
>berries had not been ripe yet.  Today, for the first time, we were able to 
>enjoy some ripe ones!
>For the past several days, we'd been seeing monotropa starting to pop 
>through the ground.  Today we saw our first cluster of them, standing at 
>full mast. Although these delicate plants are called "Indian Pipes," I've 
>always thought of them as "ghost flowers" due to their waxy, transluscent 
>white appearance.
>We saw a grey fox crossing swiftly on the trail. A black snake made us 
>jump as we'd walked toward a shelter, but we were disappointed to see that 
>it had apparently been killed by a hiker.  Such a shame to kill these 
>beautiful creatures who do us no harm, and even help hikers by eating the 
>rats and mice that so often plague the shelters. Pass by carefully, but 
>We made it to the shelter by 6, getting water en route at the spring some 
>.15 miles south of the blue blaze into the shelter.  With some difficulty, 
>we found a suitable tentsite and Spur set up the tent while I prepared dinner.
>At the shelter were a family of four on a four-day section hike.  They'd 
>described how they'd been denied an opportunity to get their photos taken 
>when they visited the ATC Headquarters, since "they were not 
>thruhikers."  We urged them to try again, as we were certain that there'd 
>been some kind of misunderstanding.  The hiker book features thruhikers - 
>as, flip-
>floppers, north-bounders and south-bounders - and section hikers!
>Also sharing the shelter was Walkie Talkie, who demonstrated without 
>hesitation that his trailname was earned due to his loquatiouness. A 
>thruhiker and two of his friends from Indiana, who were hiking with him 
>for the weekend, arrived shortly after we did. Other tenters included 
>Lucky Strike and an unidentified thruhiker.
>We ate and retreated to our tent, determined to journal and get to sleep 
>early.  We want an early start for an 18-mile day tomorrow.  That will 
>leave us with only a day and a half of hiking to get into Pine Grove 
>Furnace for our next food drop and real-bed night.
>It had been a good day in spite of our lethargy early in the day.
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