8-9-12

AT miles hiked today: 11.8
Total AT miles hiked: 1017

I am up in the loft of the Gentian Pond Shelter and the mosquitoes are eating us all alive. Hippity~Hop (we met her today) and Eagle Eye used my bug repellant (Naturapel) as did I, so we could sleep. There is heavy rain and thunder and lightning storms outside so the shelter is very full. I watched the lightning show from my sleeping bag in the shelter for hours. There was a nice view before it got dark, too.

We hiked out of Gorham, NH after Maryanne from the Hikers Paradise hotel shuttled us back to the Rattle River trail head. We had to wait until the hotel breakfast was over for our shuttle, so we started hiking just before 10am and got to the shelter around 7pm. We knew these were harder miles and we would have liked to get going earlier, but you appreciate what you get for free. It started raining and we hid out under some trees to avoid the worst of the rain, but we started hiking again once we were all wet. Then the sun came out and we dried our stuff on the rocks in the sun and wind.

It was nice to hike on soil again, though there were still plenty of rocks and roots and the trail was not easy. Chucky da Phish is here at the shelter, surprisingly. I keep being surprised to see him because he is a fast hiker and I keep thinking he wil leave us behind, but he likes to enjoy his hike.

Dame Quixote wants to hike Mahoosuc notch with us in a couple of days, so she is here, too, plus several other hikers. It's a nearly full shelter tonight, and it has a loft. Good thing it's not a small shelter.