Stretch—Days 107 to 117
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Day 107: 19 mi (1737.2)
It was one of the days where progress is pretty slow. I did some yoga on top of the lookout and stopped for the mountains of berries along the trail. I ended up doing less miles because a trail angel offered a nice place to stay which was hard to pass up.
Day 108: 15.8 mi (1753)
I made my way to Hanover in the heat doing the dreaded road walk. I got to town and on the spur of the moment did a yoga class. The class felt great and was very necessary for me mentally and physically. I also got to see some family friends. We did lunch and they took me to take a shower which was awesome. I’ve been homesick so seeing some familiar faces was uplifting.
$5 resupply $16 yoga
Day 109: 22.8 mi (1775.7)
I didn’t make it as far as I planned the night before, again, so I pushed early to make 12 miles to meet a friend. He came and instantly handed me a bagel, a good bagel. It was great. He also had some of my things from home like my coat and cold weather sleeping bag. I was disappointed to add weight back into my pack after being spoiled for so long. Having my friend hiking with me is great but it’s making me more homesick. Recently I decided I’m ready to be done and want to push miles so although I LOVE having a good friend with me, it’s stressing me out a bit to fall back.
Day 110: 22.6 mi (1798.3)
Everyone was up early so it was easy to get an early start as well. Pete and I started hiking with the plan to do just under 16 miles. The day started with a great view of cube mountain and continued to be great with a cool breeze. Pete was hiking even better than anticipated and we ended up finishing by 1:30PM so… we decided to beast mode and do the hardest section of the AT (according to some), MT. Moosilauke. I was pretty impressed with how well he did without trail legs and the view was totally worth it. We got caught in a bit of a rainstorm and made it to the shelter before it poured hard and hailed. Perfect.
Day 111: 17.8 mi (1798.8)
The day started out great with a sunrise from the shelter and trail magic. Pete and I managed to get a few good miles in before the rain hit. Although, we did go up Kingsman km the slick rain and I have the bruises to prove it. I tried to do a shorter day with Pete but we also took a risk with it. We tried to get a work for stay at a hut but we just missed that chance and had to hike 3 miles to town. Someone at the hut told us that a bridge was out ahead on the trail but it ended up being easy enough to get through. Going to town ended up being a great idea. The motel Autumn Breeze was wonderful, hiker friendly and had a great owner.
$35 motel, $20 dinner, $26 resupply
Day 112: 10.3 mi (1826.4)
Pete and I got a late start and headed up Lafayette. It was a beautiful ridge even with the clouds and rain rolling in. I certainly hiked slow to savor the view and enjoy the hike. We only had a few options for camping, 10 miles or 16 plus a mile off AT climb so we opted for the shorter distance. It was the first cold night in a while and I was happy to have my cold weather gear again.
$8 tent site
Day 113: 23.8 mi (1850.2)
Pete decided to leave today. I was surprised that he made it as far and did as many miles as he did. It’s been to the point for me where I’m ready to be done hiking and I’m a little bit homesick so when Pete left I was definitely felt alone. We had a good day hiking at least. I left him in a parking lot after 17 miles and proceed to do some more 4000 footers, Webster and Jackson. Even though this was my longest day I actually had a great time. I had the place to myself and the views of the valley and the sun setting were gorgeous. I made it pretty late to Neuman campsite and it was another freezing night.
Day 114: 19.6 mi (1869.8)
This was a rough day and as of the current mileage, I’ll call it my hardest day on the trail. It was slow, tiring and there were some rough ups and steep downs. I made my way to Lake of the Clouds Hut for my first break and it was awesomely beautiful. Then came Washington, going up wasn’t so bad but going down was pretty rough. I didn’t spend much time on top though. It wasn’t worth being in a crowd of car tourists when there was no view. Making my way to Madison proved to be more difficult then the elevation profile led me to believe as well. A good decision would have been to stop and do work for stay at the hut (I made it in perfect timing) but I was determined to push to Pinkham to ensure a 21 mile slackpack the next day to catch up to everyone I was missing. I fell hard on Madison and on my way down it probably because of old shoes and fatigue. My body was in rough shape. I did make down, albeit much later than anticipated. When I got my ride and finally made it to The Barn I went out to get food with a hiker, Spice, that I just met then passed out in a big comfy bed.
$44 Two nights at The Barn, $21 dinner
Day 115: 5.9 mi (1875.7)
My slackpack started a little later than I would have liked but I was still intent on finishing in time for the 5:30 shuttle to Walmart. Wildcat was slow going, very difficult and my knees and body were feeling the abuse of the previous days. It took 5.5 hours for me to make it about 6 of the 21 miles and my finish looked far off. Another thru hiker was concerned for me and pressured me to go to the hut and work for stay even though I only had a day pack. Fortunately, they were willing to take me in. A large group at the hut adopted me as one of their own and I spent the day talking and getting to know them. This really helped my mood and took away my stress about not being able to get my miles done. I finally heard back from my friends who I thought were ahead and it turned out that they were behind… Not just behind but 2 days behind. I half crippled myself trying to catch them and they weren’t even ahead. I felt pretty stupid, I should have just stressed less and even though I was feeling a bit down I should have hiked my own hike. Now that my 1 day slackpack turned into 2 days, I was closer to being back with them and that was a good thing.
Day 116: 15.2 mi (1890.9)
There were 5 of us for a work for stay at Carter Notch Hut and the hiker who came in the latest, 8:30PM, ducked out at 4:00AM to skip the work part of his stay. It was so rude and is something that makes the rest of us look bad. After breakfast I made my way to route 2 to finish my slackpack. I went slow and got passed but I made it back to Gorham to The Barn for my second night. I resupplied and got food to eat at the hostel and relaxed after a painful hike.
$40 resupply, $10 food
Day 117: 0 (1890.9)
In the morning I made it out of be hostel just to move over to the more plush hostel. I decided to zero for two reasons. I was in pain and I could meet back up with Backtrack and Towanda. I spent the day eating and sitting on a nice couch watching movies. I met some new people as well. They even had a slackline at the hostel and I was able to feel really in my element again. It was a solid rest day.
$36 hostel, $20 pizza
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