It is another day.
When I packed up and headed out of the campground I saw both Fat Chill and Anna (now with the trail name Moose Boots). Let’s hear it again for all the solo ladies!
The hike from Mizpah Hut to Crawford Notch and the next highway was at times as steep as they come, but also frustrating. There was more overgrown trail pulling at my hair, and I lost the trail twice, walking out small side trails till I realized my error and backtracked. Come on AMC! Use some of our money to brush and adequately mark this trail please! I ran into a nobo hiker that was confused and wondering if he was on trail too, so it’s not just me.
There were views though. Weather would be moving in this afternoon, but for now the views were intact and the mountains most impressive.
I was down at the highway by mid morning and still determined to take a shower. The day was hot and humid, so I knew any refreshment I would get from my bathing would be short lived, but I didn’t care. I needed to knock some of the funk off.
It took a while, but finally a car pulled over and I met Maggie, or Risky Momma. This amazing woman had just walked from her home in Portland, Maine to Chicago! She kept to roads and carried her stuff in a baby stroller, thus the “risky momma” moniker. A fellow adventurer! The ride was short to the state campground that had showers and laundry, but we exchanged Instagram handles (@margaretacrossamerica if you want to follow her too).
I walked into the campground didn’t see a person; made my over to the shower building and saw I needed quarters and soap. I didn’t have either and since I didn’t see any staff, walked around looking for campers. I met a girl and her dad from DC that took interest in my plight and they gave me some body wash. Then I met a man and his wife from Cape Cod who were also curious and he gave me a small bar of soap and changed a few dollars into quarters for me. Since I didn’t have any laundry soap I decided to take a hobo bath, or a shower with all my clothes on. Before I went in, the campground attendant Matt came around and we had a good chat. He even offered to give me a ride after I was done.
I got 10 minutes for my quarters and washed myself and my clothes multiple times. I had enough quarters left over to then stick everything in the dryer. While I waited I finished the Neil Gaiman book I had been reading and charged up my devices.
Ok, cleaned up! Next on my list was lunch. The AMC Highland Center, a few miles the other direction from the trail, offers thru-hikers a $6 soup, bread, and beer combo, so I had Matt drop me off there where I cashed in on the deal and hopped on wifi for a bit.
I bought a few more things in their store including some new socks. Somehow one of my pairs had gone missing this week and I found a nice colorful pair to take their place.
Then I tried hitching to get back to the trail. My thumb was out for a while, then my tyvek sign I had made, but no luck. Finally I saw a woman walking up to her truck and offered her money to take me the three miles I needed to go. I was practically in her car before she said yes 😏. Sometimes you have to help these things along. She lived in the area and was very pleasent….and would not take my money when I put it in her center consol.
I guess it was time to hike. I kept my sandals on…I knew I had a climb, but was pleasantly surprised to find it gentle and well graded. Nice! And then I had a great flat section of boardwalks that brought me to my day’s destination at Ethan Pond. It was early, I had plenty of daylight to go further, but I really didn’t need to. This would do.
I’m glad I made it in when I did. The campsite was busy with lots of thru-hikers, summer campers, and an REI backpacking group. I was able to set up on dirt on an overflow camping spot, my choice, so I could ride out the storm without the splash backs into my tent I experienced last time it rained when I was set up on a tent platform, and the other time when I had to bail on the shelter when it got too full.
And rain it did tonight! The lightning was bright and thunder echoed in the mountains around us. What a show! But I stayed dry and fell asleep somehow while it continued into the night.