Day 147 – Hikers Hike
It’s Just a Cold
I’ve got a full-blown, honest-to-goodness cold. But hikers hike, or so I’m told. Hey, that rhymed!
So, I dragged myself out of bed, packed up, and headed back to the trail. Northstar did not support this plan. She may have mentioned some contrary advice about resting or something, both while I got ready and as she dropped me off, and possibly at several points in between. She’s stubborn that way, unlike me. I open-mindedly considered her advice, before doing what I wanted anyway.
It was just a cold, and I only had 13.5 miles with no significant climbs or descents. What could possibly go wrong?
Another Easy Day
In fact, it was an easy day. The trail was muddy and rooty, soaking my just-dried trail runners once again and bruising my toes, but by AT standards, the trail was lovely. I walked under a blue sky most of the day, the cool air and breeze kept the bugs at bay. I barely broke a sweat.
About an hour into the hike, I caught up to Soco, who was hiking with Daisy today. I seen Soco off and on in North Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia, but hadn’t seen him since we gave him a ride into Front Royal after finishing the Shenandoahs. Soco isn’t particularly fast or slow, but he’s steady and he grinds out the miles.
Soco planned to resupply at the Hiker Hut on ME 4 and then move on. We’d probably cross paths again tomorrow on the backpacking section over Saddleback Mountain. So, I said so long and left him behind for the rest of the day.
Gus and I stopped for lunch at South Pond, one of several lake-sized ponds along the route. This one had a canoe and a rowboat overturned on the shoreline by the trail, presumably for hikers to take out on the water. Gus likes rafts, preferring to stand on the bow to scout for ducks and fish, but canoes make him nervous, and he shifts back and forth, tipping the boat and transferring his nervousness to me.
So, we left the boats as they were and hiked on after a little game of swim and fetch. He’d spent most of the lunch break trying to pull a root out of a mud pit and needed the bath.
We hiked up to the meetup spot before 2:00, our earliest finish so far in Maine. I’d averaged just over 2.5 mph without particularly trying to push and with a cold. I must be on the mend and am ready for 18 miles over Saddleback Mountain tomorrow.
In the morning, I’d start the 32-mile backpack section. I’d decided to do the whole hike over two days to keep pace with the PBJ crew and Soco. If they could cover that distance with just one night of camping, I was confident I could too.
But there’s a rainstorm coming tomorrow that will hit around noon and is forecast to keep raining for at least 24 hours. I’m definitely not excited about backpacking 18 miles and camping in driving rain tomorrow.
But I hear that hikers hike, so that’s what I’ll do.
- Start: ME 17 (Mile 1964.7)
- End: ME 4 (Mile 1977.8)
- Weather: Blue sky in the morning, sunny, pleasant. Perfect weather.
- Earworm: Take Good Care of Yourself (thank you, Northstar)
- Meditation: Ps 51
- Plant of the Day: Birch
- Best Thing: Rest
- Worst Thing: I’ve got a cold
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