7-26-12

AT miles hiked today: 8.9
Total AT miles hiked: 905.7

Yay! 900 miles! I'm nearly to 1000. This is a big milestone coming up and I hope some people decide to donate something significant to Rhubarb's Angel fund for this milestone. Rhubarb is doing great and working hard in his physical rehab so go check out his blog to see what he has been up to lately. The link to his blog (and the "donate now" button) is on the sidebar of my blog at www.thedustycamel.org.

We hiked 1.4 miles on the gravel road back to the AT from the Dancing Bones community where we met Wall•E. Blaze and Nice Lady left early, before the rest of us did. They are headed home today and wanted an earlier start to get back to their car, so we said goodbye before they left.

We hiked in a light rain in the morning and then it dried out. We walked around a bend and saw a grocery bag tied to a tree branch. We said "Trail Magic!" Then we read the note inside the bag and realized it was for somebody specific, not all hikers. We stared longingly at the yogurt and oranges and then put it back where we found it and walked away just as a man in dress clothes walked up from the road below. He had left the snacks for his wife, Stubby, and their friend, Low Gear, who were hiking behind us. His trail name is Sparky and he and his wife are 2008 thruhikers. We talked with him and told him our story (short version). He offered to help us slackpack Mt. Washington along with Low Gear and some others. We were thrilled and exchanged contact information with him. In the meantime some other hikers came along, pulled the bag down and ate what was inside, as we stood there talking. Then we walked on, thinking we had just been rewarded with instant karma for doing the right thing. Those hikers got the snack, but we got offered something much better in the future. However, I still fantasized about that yogurt.

Tonight we are tented at Jeffers Brook Shelter at the base of Mount Moosilauke. I have been reading the first book of The Hunger Games instead of sleeping. I have performance anxiety and I am afraid of Moosilauke. I can't sleep even now that I stopped reading, though perhaps The Hunger Games isn't the most relaxing of stories to use to distract myself. We met Lady Forward, Danish, Neif, Bad Dinner, Johnny Rocket, Messenger, Metric, Blue Skies and more of the pile of dudes at the shelter. They kind of remind me of my southern trail family boys.

Before we got to this shelter we walked an extra half a mile each way down and back a road to the Hikers Welcome Hostel. I was surprised to see Miss Janet walk in. She said she remembered me and gave me a warm ear wrap for the Whites and some food. Thank you, Miss Janet! I also bought a warm shirt there for $10. I haven't had a warm shirt for weeks and I knew I would need one in the Whites. The Whites, The Whites, The Whites. This is it. We are about to hike The Whites which, I have been told repeatedly, are the hardest part of the AT.

Miss Janet recommended that we pay for the shuttle to slackpack Mt Moosilauke southbound due to the treacherous decent when you hike northbound, but the cost of staying at the hostel and the shuttle cost helped us decide to just hike on north. I hope it's not as bad as they all say.