Nice long day

Cove Mountain Shelter
Day 57 (6/6/19)
Miles – 24.5
Total miles – 760.4

We slept well, yet everyone was up by 6:30. After breakfast, provided by the hotel, we headed back to the trail. The first thirty miles of this section were easy so we hoped to hike a good distance today. Our biggest concern was the weather. Forecast was for rain Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday. Our plan was to get into the next town early Monday morning, but with that much rain we are going to try and push to get there noon on Sunday. For many miles today’s trail followed and crossed the Blue Ridge Parkway. A scenic highway that runs for more than a 100 miles along the Blue Ridge Mountains. Supposedly, this was Thomas Jefferson’s favorite section of Virginia. He traveled this route often to enjoy the views. We stopped at a number of it’s turnouts because of those grand views. At one point Mama Raven saw a small reptile crossing the trail in front of her shoe. Thinking it was a lizard of some sort, she stopped for a closer look. Then she realized it was a baby six to seven inch snake. Papa Raven came up behind and said it was a Copperhead. Not a snake to play with. Baby poisonous snakes are the worse to get bitten by. They cannot control their venom. As she was trying to get her camera out, the snake went into a bush right next to the trail. We walked wide around it. At least one snake a day we have been seeing for a while now. The other day, we saw three with each one being a different type: rattlesnake, black rat, and a racer. We also saw our fifth box turtle. Being tortoise owners back home, we get excited with each one we see! Today’s tortoise had a terribly beat up shell with cracks and chunks missing from the edges, but it did not slow him down. He moved quickly away from us. Around 7:00 we started to look for a camp, but none could be found. There was just to much undergrowth. We just keep walking until we got to a shelter and found a flat place on the hillside above it. Despite the weather reports, there was no rain today. However we did see signs of possible rain in the evening. With luck we will not have any overnight. That way we will have dry tents for tomorrow night.

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