Day 136 – Everything Happens For A Reason

Despite sleeping with my head sloped slightly downhill, I slept pretty good. My beanie poof (fluff?) kept bumping into the wall of my tent, but the overall sleep was restful. All my sore joints were feeling much better today, but I’m getting ahead of myself.

It was 7:00-ish when I woke up, and breakfast and packing for the most part happened inside my tent. I was still traumatized by the onslaught of mosquitoes the night before. I even did some stretching for the first time in a long time inside the tent (it’s something I should do more often, to be honest). Dressed and DEET applied, tent takedown and final packing occurred swiftly, and I left camp unmolested.

Early on in the morning I walked by a foreign SOBO couple having an argument. Not odd but for where they chose to have the argument. They had it on logs in the middle of a bog full of mosquitoes (as if arguing wasn’t irritating enough). Not a few minutes after I was out of earshot, the argument had elevated to a full-on yelling match. I warned a few other passing SOBOers they may need to prevent a murder up ahead. I walked on, hoping the argument was not a product of what ‘The Whites’ does to people.

I caught up with Groundhog and we hiked a bit together. Apparently, he missed his fantasy football draft the night before. It reminded me I have my own draft Sept 3rd and I should probably set an alarm and plan to be in a place with cell service. We chatted about our families (we’re both new uncles in the last year) and future plans after the trail.

We made quick work of the ten miles to the base of Mt Moosilauke, arriving at “Hikers Welcome Hostel” shortly after 1:00 p.m. I was in desperate need of device charging and it was an ideal place to post the daily blog. We drank several sodas, and I had a frozen personal pizza while I edited photos and my previous night’s blog ramblings into a palatable format.

Editing took far longer than I expected because apparently Hikers Welcome Hostel is very aptly named. In fact, between hikers coming and going, I probably saw 15 or more hikers in a two-hour span. Many of which I recognized and had conversations with, straining my already limited attention span. The hostel also had a bunch of memes posted about the grounds. Some made me feel attacked.

By the time devices were charged, the blog masses satisfied, social media notification ques reduced back to zero, it was 4:00 p.m. and I had to pay my tab still (oops). Groundhog had left an hour before. Doing the trail math in my head, it was eight more miles to my intended shelter, with a 4,000-foot climb steeper than the cost of insulin. At best, it would take me four hours (more like five), putting me in well after dark.

Adding to the situation, the shelter is located partly down an even steeper descent that ‘requires strict attention to each step’ (or so I was told). Either way, it was a combination of factors I wasn’t keen on risking. I decided my intended 18-mile day should have started earlier and I won’t make the same mistake tomorrow. I would be staying at the hostel on this night.

I took the rest of the day to catch up on phone calls, emails, and creating a Charles Schwab account after their TD Ameritrade acquisition. I had dinner with a ton of familiar faces I’ve meet over the last two weeks (PBJ, Beans, Toto, Corndog, White Rabbit, Colossus, and more I’m unable to remember). It was a full house at the hostel.

To add certainty to my decision to stay, it started to rain around 7:30 p.m. and continued well into the night. I definitely would have been hiking still by then. Devices charged and in bed at a decent hour, I’m feeling motivated to tackle Moosilauke in the morning.

At present, I have less than 400 miles left and I’m 81.9% complete with the Appalachian Trail.

Stow away in my pack for day 137 on the Appalachian Trail

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Comments 2

  • Rushmore : Aug 29th

    Good choice, to not do Mousolake in the dark!!!

  • Tandi : Aug 29th

    Love your pictures♥
    I’ve been following your journey since you 1st started have definitely enjoyed your writings n all of your pictures.
    Stay safe n keep on keepin’ on….🙂


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