Magic and Heat Again

Day 26
We got back on trail before 7am.  It was already humid, we knew this would be a challenging day but this is summer on the trail. The Bemis range ridge was a nice start to the day, we enjoyed some views and noticed how hazy the mountains looked.
We reached a road crossing and found some amazing trail magic. Trail angel, Patriot, had a screen tent set up with chairs and was welcoming thru-hikers to sit and have cold drinks and snacks. We chatted with him a while and found out he is also from Massachusetts and his son had thru-hiked the AT in 2017.  He has been providing trail magic every year since. Patriot really appreciated the AT culture: very welcoming, helpful, supportive and kind. He wanted to be part of it so he tries to do trail magic as much as he can. We enjoyed a snack and a cold can of Coke but had to get moving.
Last 4 miles of our humid hot day included 1000 foot climb up Moody mountain, which the MATC didn’t even bother to put a sign on it was so insignificant. We then continued with a steep decent only to followed immediately by a 1500 foot ascent to the lean-to.  Our caffeine rush provided by the trail angel boosted us up Moody but had worn off by the time we started to ascend Hall Mountain.  The race was on…we could hear thunder rumbling in the distance.
We arrived at Hall Mountain lean-to just before 3pm.  A few other hikers were already there waiting out the storm, debating to stay or not.  This will likely be our first full shelter experience. Luckily The skies cleared up and the storm never hit us, some hikers moved on hoping to get another few hours of hiking in before it gets dark (the true thru-hiker mentality).  We planned to stay and we enjoyed chatting with a few NOBOs and sharing information from what we had experienced so far on the trail.
One of the NOBOs we were sharing the shelter with was from Haverhill, MA (where Hayley used to live) and the other from Kensington, MD (we both have relatives in this general area). It feels like such a small world, part of the fun of this adventure is the people you meet on the trail. Even if you never see them again, even if it’s just a quick conversation, it’s something that has impacted your life in the smallest way or possibly in the biggest way. Life long friends and relationships are made on the trail, everyone has one common goal and everyone is cheering each other on. Eric still has friends he refers to fondly from his NOBO thru-hike in 2011. It’s been a fun ride so far and we are loving every minute of it.

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