The trail unfolded before me, but first, breakfast!
I had already been up a while, drinking my coffee and writing (as I like to do), when I heard Hilary rustling in the next tent.
We got up and put bags into bags, and those bags into other bags, and into our respective vehicles. My pack was looking bigger….I had 5 days of food to reach Jo Mary Road where my trail angel Ron would be meeting me….more about Ron later.
Hilary scrambled up the rest of the eggs with some homemade pesto. I put it on a bagel with some of the left over French fries from the lobster roll lunch a million days ago. I included a banana to the growing belly before calling it quits.
Way too soon, and we had ourselves packed. I guess it was time to hit the trail.
We see the campground’s helpful park ranger on our way out, and he taks a few photos of us by the AT sign…soon we are hugging out goodbyes.
Thank you for everything H! Best start to an AT Sobo hike ever!
I walk through dappled green forests, I walk through a soft carpet of bright green moss, and I walk next to lakes and water and rivers. Wow!
The trail was gentle through the rest of Baxter State Park, and I was happy for the soft touch after such a demanding summit day. I breaked next to Little Niagra Falls, and lunched next to Pine Point. There were plenty of opportunities to soak the problem foot (which wasn’t having many problems by the way!)
I rolled out of the park mid-afternoon and up to the Abol Bridge Store for a giant ice cream cone and bug spray. The bugs were out, and having been kind of caviler about them so far, was finding welts all over the place.
Soon mint chocolate chip was dripping down my chin…I couldn’t keep up with the melt!
I met a father getting ready to say good buy to his 17-year-old son who was going to be hiking the 100-mile wilderness solo to Monson. I reassured him that we look out for each other on the trail, and got excited by the thought that I’d only be seeing backpackers on this section…there were almost no roads, so it was to be a solid backcountry week.
The route got considerably rockier and suddenly I recognized the AT. This: rocks, roots, large thigh-busting steps you wern’t sure you could make, and mud.
I’ve never been as strong as I was on the AT, and I was looking forward to that again….if I could make it through the breaking-in-phase.
I came to Hurd Brook Shelter when I was ready to sit down, and then sat down. There was a guy ready to finish his section-hike up with the Katadhin summit in the next day or 2. Oh yeah, and I met Clutch at the lunch break who was finishing his 10-year section hike….so fun!
The evening was filled with stuff you do when camping, and I chatted briefly with some other hikers.