Outerbridge Shelter (1256.8) to Bushcamp (1279.5)
I was the first person awake and on trail from Outerbridge Shelter. The trail rumours mentioned that the climb out of nearby Lehigh river gorge was a cracker. They were correct. Boulders that required minor rock scrambling and sweat inducing effort. I’m glad it wasn’t pouring with rain for this climb.
Once I crested the last of the boulders I followed the plateau on easy trails lined with flowers. This was the driest section of trail to date. Springs on the plateau required almost a mile round trip to get water. I exhausted most of my 1.5 litres on the climb and hiked around 18 miles to a water source near a shelter. After filling my water bottles I took a snooze at the vacant shelter.
Earlier in the day I saw several deer and frogs. While hiking in the afternoon light a porcupine wandered onto the Appalachian Trail. Porcupines are cute, unless you are a dog that decided to try and play with them. The porcupine bristled its spines and turned its back on me. After several minutes of deciding that I’m not a threat it became curious and even walked towards me and allowed me to take photos. I’ve never known them to do that. With the marvellous encounter over I found a nearby camp and settled in for yet another evening deluge of rain.