April 14, 2016
As I stepped out of the taxi and onto the trail I was amazed at all the tranquil surroundings. Until my tour guide came bounding over and started talking a million words a minute. I joined a smaller group than all the rest I had seen so far. This was good, a smaller group meant we could get farther quicker, or so I hoped. The group consisted of two younger men who looked like they know each other, an older woman with her daughter, who looked to be around sixteen, and a man who looked like he was in his late 20s to early 30s, along with the tour guide and me. With the informal introductions out of the way, we began our long hike from New Jersey to West Virginia.
After about 45 minutes of walking in silence our tour guide (Bethany) stopped abruptly, pointed and said, “That is a diamondback rattlesnake, feared as deadly and aggressive; diamondbacks actually loathe human contact and only attack in defense. Most bites happen when people taunt or try to capture or kill the rattlesnake”. As she continued to give facts about the rattlesnake, I started to hear a faint drilling noise. When I turned around there was a large woodpecker on top of a nearby tree working furiously to make holes. I was astonished of how diligently it was working. After a few minutes of staring at the woodpecker, I whipped around and started after my group that had left me in the dust.
Soon after our close encounter with the rattlesnake, we were all very cautious of our next steps, until a drizzle started, but very soon, it turned into a complete downpour. Our tour guide told us it was completely normal for this time of year. Therefore, we stopped and made camp for the night. This was good because it was starting to get dark quickly.
April 15th, 2016
I woke up to the sound of shouting from outside my tent. Still groggy I stumbled out to see our tour guide’s face red and arms swinging around angrily. The man waited for her to settle down before he went and sat down and began to start skinning the beavers for our breakfast. A few hours later, Travis had skinned and cooked us all the beaver he caught. After we ate, we packed up and started for our destination, The Potomac River in Maryland. The Potomac River is the wildest river in the world that flows through heavily populated areas. On its way from the mountains to the ocean, it runs through West Virginia, Maryland, Virginia, and the United States capitol, Washington, DC.
April 20th, 2016
The last five days were grueling both physically and mentally. We got barely four hours of sleep each night. Nevertheless, it was all worth it when we finally got to the river. Standing in front of it was amazing. I could f...