AT 2022 – Day 30: 6.6 miles (330.1 miles total)

I woke from my nest in the trees and made quick order of my morning chores. I had a breakfast to get to! I knew better than to hike on an empty stomach, and quickly poured a smashed pop tart down the gullet. And I’m glad I did. The first 0.7 miles took a loooong time. I was still descending Wildcat and it was slow going.

The sound of traffic egged me on, but the hiking was not quick. When I got to level ground I still had a mile to go, and the mile was choked with roots and rocks, so it slowed my roll.

I got to the visitors center just after 8am, and found a bathroom to clean up in…and put on a dry sports bra and shirt….that feels so much better! Up to the cafe where I find there is no breakfast, maybe because it is a Monday morning. They only made enough for the overnight guests, but offered that I could still pay the $13 and eat what was left. When I looked over the very slim pickings, I didn’t even see $5 worth of food. Fortunately their deli opened at 9:30 so I’d only have to wait an hour for real food.

I purchased some expensive snacks from the gift shop and went outside to hang out on a picnic table, eating a chocolate bar to curb the beast.

Lots and lots of shiny and clean day hikers milled about. I could smell their soaps and deodorant on the breeze….ahh tourists.

At 9:30 I head back in to find they haven’t finished unloading their bread delivery so it will be another hour till I can eat. Sigh. I only have 5 more miles to hike today and planned on hanging out here for a long time, so resign myself to being hungry for a while longer.

I head into the dining room and post up next to some other hikers and charge my electronics. Crazy Eyes and Aces were nobos, both from the Midwest. We had a good chat and when I mentioned my name, Crazy Eyes knew me! He had listened to several podcasts that I had been on over the years. Very cool, and I may have another Oregon Desert Trail hiker on my hands after I explained what I do in real life. He was finishing up his triple crown and it sounded like a route would be a good next step for him. Nice!

After lunch I had had enough of the front country, so put my pack on and waddled away from the people, electricity, and good smelling soaps. I had a very full belly after the deli finally opened and I ate and ate and ate.

I was looking for an easy-breezy afternoon, so to put me into the mood, hit play on a yacht rock playlist I had just downloaded.

The walking was most excellent and mild. There was a bit of climbing and just after I crossed the road to the summit of Mt. Washington heard some movement off to my left. I saw a hairy something! I gave a shout and looked again, not a bear, but a moose! My first moose! Then I hid and backtracked because you don’t want to anger a moose, they can be mean and definitely can be more dangerous to encounter than a bear. I tried to keep some trees between its line of sight and me, and finally it moved on and I skidaddled down the trail.

At the next stream I stopped for a break. I had tons of time to make my destination, so started reading another new book I had downloaded from the library at home.

Soon I was joined by a nobo, Warehouse, for a bit. He was a sweet kid from Texas and in a short time we got pretty deep into it….trail philosophy if you will.

Then onward. I arrived at Osgood Campground about 3pm, and had the rest of the afternoon to set up and do some more reading. I would only have 3 miles to hike tomorrow to the next hut where I would wait out the storm and pretend I was a good-smelling tourist, but those 3 miles were straight up, and it sounded like a brutally steep climb. Definitely a mile-an-hour type of trail.

I was all alone until just before dark when a bunch of people arrived, just having come down from the presidential traverse. A group of girls squeezed themselves onto my tent platform, as I tried to sleep.

Finally I did.

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