Saturday, August 11 - I initially went to the Meadow Springs parking area. A favorite spot to park to hike Mary's Rock, which I had already done, but I thought I would attempt Buck's Hollow/Buck Ridge. In the parking lot a met an experienced man/hiker with his lady friend, who was fairly new to hiking. He said the since 2012 he has lived in a one man tent and I certainly could not do the same as I love being outdoors and taking adventures but I do also like the conveniences of modern life as well. After the prior day of turning off of a trail due to a huge bear and two cubs I asked if this man wouldn't mine a shadow on the hike - I felt hiking with others would help regain some confidence. He stated he hiked alone and I was offered to go first or wait and go after they left. I returned to my car and decided to give the man all the solitude that I could give him and went on to hike another trail. I hiked the Corbin Cabin trail to the Nicholson Hollow trail which would bring me back to my car. The hike into the cabin was a 1.4 mile decent of over 1,000 feet. My knees are much better and I have not had the pain that I experienced the first few days of hiking. Deciding the bear will not be a problem, I found myself once again hiking completely alone. On this hike I encountered my first rattlesnake. As I hiked looking around and down to assure my footing, as in some places the steepness and loose gravel/rocks caused me to slide uncontrolably, I spotted seomthing that I did not comprehemd until I was pasted it - it was a rattlesnake. I believe I caught it sleeping as once past it began to rattle and move a bit. I now was in a position - do I continue on my hike or call it quits? I continues with caution and have to admit I was not comfortable. At this point if bitten I had no cell service and was too far away to hike out without overexerting myself and letting the venon spread more quickly through my system. I thought to myslef "CRAP". I made ti to Corbin Cabin and took a rest. I had 1.8 miles to get to Skyline Drive. Now this hike was all uphil and I thought I would never get to the next marker. Eventually I reached the next marker that put me onto the Nicholson Hollow trail. My fear of snakes was still there but I found myself hiking at my usual pace now and not as fixated on the idea of coming across another rattler.....maybe a copperhead instead - haha
I then returned to Rock Spring - a short just under 2 mile hike in and out to a cabin sponsored by the PATC, a hut for AT hikers, and a spring area. This is the hike that I returned back on the day before as I encountered a large sow and 2 cubs near the trail. I decide to turn back as if I kept going I would put the bear between me and my car. I just figured I would do it another day. On this day it was lightly raining but the cover on the trail was my umbrella. The rain eventually stopped. My hike in was quick and the buildings were amazing. A lone AT hiker was there and we chatted a bit. I have only met amazing people on the trails. Great stories. On my hike out there was a disturbance high in a tree directly over me. A small bear cub was about as high as one could go in that tree. I looked around asuming mom was near by and just quickened my step a bit and made my way out. All in all my fitbit says I walked 7.9 miles but I really don't think it is too acurate - felt like I had hiked more like 20 - another haha moment.
About an hour ater getting back from my adventures for the day it poured for about an hour - good timing on my part. I do carry a rain poncho for just the occasion but it is simply there to protect my camera gear not necessarily me.