As per my last journal, over the past two months I have been thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail and had planned an art hiatus until this fall (October or November), but unfortunately my time this season was cut short.
A few days ago, while hiking through rocky Pennsylvania, my dog was bitten by a timber rattlesnake on the muzzle. Due to the remote nature of the trail corridor, it took several hours to be initially extracted by emergency personnel and further still to reach a hospital which even had antivenom. The first day was very scary as we were not sure if my dog would make it, but over the past few days he appears to be coming out of the woods, however he must rest for the next 2-3 weeks due to fear of spontaneous hemorrhaging and internal bleeding.
So apart from his physical limitations in not being able to continue with me, it turns out that a vial of antivenom runs around $1800, and so far the veterinarian bill is approaching $4k. Therefore my trail budget is essentially shot for this season. So we have both returned back home and to civilization.
Of course I am quite disappointed that the trip did not go to plan, but I am thankful just to have my buddy back after such a tremendous scare over the past week. The trail will always be there, and I can walk a few extra miles some other time. I truly had a wonderful time on the trail and will not forget my fellow hikers I have met along the way, best of luck to them as they head further north to Maine!
PS: But now I suppose I can get back to drawing and chatting with you folks, which I truly did miss very much! Hope you all are well!