Update 8 from an AT through hiker

So the first one isn't very interesting, but i saw a bear. i think. it was running away from me, of course, so i'm pretty sure it was a bear, but who knows. Let's just say it was... my first bear sighting, woo hoo! but come on, how hard is it to have a bear chase you down the trail and growl at you a little bit so you get a good story out of the deal? is that really too much to ask? anyway, on to the funner story... so there i was walking down the trail, when off to my right i hear a strange noise. i stop and try to figure out what it was, thinking it was a bird or strange insect of some sort. then i walked forward a bit until it stopped. i turned and looked behind me, and yup, it was a rattlesnake, stretched out with its head a few inches from my foot where i stopped to look around. yes, i'm a smart one, i'm surprised i didn't lean over and stick my head in the grass to investigate this strange rattling noise that i heard ;-) The very next day, i was walking along, lost in my own little happy-travis world, when i look up and there's another rattlesnake sitting in the middle of the trail, rattling away and getting quite pissed that i'm so close to it. As you can imagine, it's a little disturbing to look up and see a huge rattlesnake in front of you, so i gracefully back peddle and tumble over some rocks behind me as i try to get the heck out of there. the snake, upon seeing this, decides that either i'm absolutely no threat whatsoever, or that i'm a tasty snack, because he starting moving down the trail towards me. This upsets me just a little bit to have a snake headed right for me, but luckily he's fat and not moving very quickly, so i calmly get up and move off the trail and into the woods, as if this happens to me everyday. The snake just slithers right on by. I guess he wanted to hike the trail. Maybe he heard good things about Georgia and wanted to move there? who knows, but i watched him for quite awhile and he stayed on the trail for a long time, he must enjoy scaring people and watching them fall backwards over rocks, i imagine it's good entertainment for him. of all the places i would imagine running into rattlesnakes, connecticut isn't at the top of my list, but that's where all of this madness happened. connecticut. anyway, i'm in Dalton, Massachusetts right now, 1555 miles down the trail, only 620 to go!! it's strange, maine seems so close and yet so far away. So lately, i've been battling the heat and the bugs. call me crazy, but i think i'd rather be hiking in the snowy april weather than this stuff. it's hard for me to find a part of my body that isn't covered in bug bites, rashes, bruises, cuts, scrapes or something like that. i'm very pretty right now. Oh well, off to go do some laundry, can you believe that i haven't showered or done laundry in almost 2 weeks? i'm smell very pretty right now too. Only a day or so left in MA and then i'll be in Vermont. Crazy, 'eh? Oh, and i've decided to take the worst-rocky state award away from PA and give it to NY. At least with PA you're walking along a ridge and then you hit nasty rocks, but it's all fairly level. With new york, they just have entire mountains of rocks that you're constantly climbing up and over, no ridges to be found there. Grrrr, but i've come to peace with the rocks, i no longer think of the AT as a hiking trail, it's really a low-level rock climbing course. But that's the trail that we all come to know and love! Anyway, i'm out, hope everyone is enjoying this beautiful summer!

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