Over the Baldpates

Day 28

We enjoyed a peaceful night in our tent and both of us slept soundly.  We also enjoyed sleeping in a little. We’ve finally become accustomed to the hiker internal time clock, bedtime between 8/9pm and awake between 5/6am…sleeping in usually means getting up at 7. We never thought it would be so easy to get up at 5am.
We were back on trail a little after 8am.  We enjoyed excellent views from the Baldpate East peak and across the ridgeline to West Peak.  The summit had a cool breeze to offset the heat. We were happy to have great weather and a stress free hour above tree line.
We had the always excellent pop tarts as second breakfast. It’s always a fun few days after a food resupply. Lunch consisted on what we have dubbed hiker pizza: flour tortilla, cabot cheese, and pepperoni.  This was likely due to our recent conversations about the prospect of getting pizza in Gorham.
We felt strong heading up Old Speck, a 2000 foot climb over 3.5 miles.  We rarely stopped and didn’t take off our packs until we reached the viewpoint.  We have perfected the slow and steady, one foot in front of the other mindset.  We definitely have grown in strength and stamina since the 100 mile wilderness.  In the distance, Mountain Washington loomed, which will likely humble us very quickly.  The White Mountains are taunting us. It was fun to see the Maine vista as we hiked up Old Speck and then New Hampshire as we hiked down.
At Speck Pond camp site, we enjoyed cooling off in the pond.  We had another frog friend sit with us for a while. We got our AMC Thru-Hiker Passes from the caretaker which will give us some small discounts at the Huts in the Whites as well as the campsites. We are approaching a popular hiking area and paying for camping starts to become the norm.
The terrain tomorrow is what many hikers consider the hardest section on trail or the most fun if you are up for the challenge.  We are looking forward to this 1.1 mile scramble that goes under, around, over, and between boulders.  This section is famous for deep crevices that generally have ice year round.  A NOBOer we met a few days ago shared his story going through the notch and building a little snowman.
We are excited and anxious to start!

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