Max Patch. Done and in the history books! What an wondrous piece of real estate. In the past it was called Mack’s Patch and was known for cattle ranching. The Bald was trimmed, mowed and perfectly suited for grazing cattle. Now it is protected by the US Forestry and has many trails that hikers can traverse to see 360 degree view of mountains to the north, south, east and west! It is glorious. Blue and I arrived shortly after 7am and just stood in awe. It is a special place on the AT and the most visited spot in the southern Appalachians.
On my way off the Bald, I ran into some other fellow thru-hikers. Brave Little Toaster, BLT was packing up. We talked briefly and told him he’ll catch up with us soon. Sure enough, when Blue and I stopped for our morning snack, BLT arrived. I asked him to tell me a little more about himself. He was originally from Indiana and was in the Foster Care system his entire childhood. He bounced around a bit until a Foster Family took him in as a teen. He stayed with them and lived near Chicago. He is now an adult and talks about wanting to start a family of his own and adopt Foster Children. He would be such a great Dad, and surely understands firsthand what these kids would need. He runs a non-profit in Harlem and provides meals for homeless people. This guy has a calling and heart for people. We shared a bit about ourselves and continued on our way. We will definitely see more of BLT & Babe the Pig.
Our next bit of business was tackling Walnut Mountain. It was a climb but nothing like days past. There were two men from Antonio, Texas who we stayed up with. At the top of Walnut Mountain, they stopped dead in their tracks. I could hear the rattler from a hundred yards away. It was really mad and had no intentions of leaving it’s place near the trail. There was definitely a standoff and I was not gonna be in the middle of that show down! This Eastern Back Rattlesnake was at least six feet long with too many rattles to count. The Snake Charmers, as I called them, devised a plan. We would provide a very, very, very wide birth and walk off the trail. And so we did. We stomped into the high grasses infested with tics, I’m sure, and beat feet around that rattler! Definitely the most scared I’ve been since I climbed the rickety Fire Tower near Fontana Dam. We made it off the mountain alive and headed to Walnut Mountain Shelter. Just as you would suspect, there was a trail sign stating Rattlesnake Gap less than a mile away. How appropriate!
As far as I’m concerned, the rest of the day was fairly mundane. No bears chasing us down the trail and no tics making Lyme disease inside my body! We had a few more miles to go but today was the first time we made ten miles by noon. That is a big accomplishment since it can set you up for doing another 5-10 miles in the afternoon. Blue and I agreed that we didn’t want to stay in the shelter but wanted to be close enough to town, that tomorrow would be an easy day. We hiked another six plus miles and ended up with our highest mileage of the trip yet. We were both beat when we arrived to camp. We mostly griped of our feet being hot and tired! We pitched our tents, drank the water we carried to our dry camp and called it a night.
Today as I was walking, I asked the good Lord to show me what he wanted me to do today. He was pretty darn clear and said focus on me. Forget about where you are on the trail, how many miles you do or don’t have, and consider just trekking me with! I thought to myself how fortunate I am to be able to just do that. I’m no super athlete, no accomplished trail runner, I’m just an average woman who can walk. I think about the strength I have because of Jesus. I can’t conquer these mountains without him. I surely couldn’t crawl out of the valleys without his direction and I would never be able to walk mile after mile, week after week without his Devine intervention. What I can do is listen to the Lords wisdom, his quiet voice and know that my days are ordained by him. That is what I do know! And so I continue to walk and pursue his calling and am incredibly thankful for his overwhelming protection.
“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”
2 Corinthians 12:9 NIV
2 thoughts on “Day 27: May 11, 2022 Cherry Creek to Deer Park Elevation Profile +2977/-4412 16.2 Miles; Total 270.1 Miles”
Another a great Day. The snake made it exciting, happy it did t bother you!
Love to you
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Congrats on your biggest day yet👏
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