Sun, Sept 8
A semi-short and easy day.
It rained all through the night until 9 or 10 am. I manage to stay mostly dry in my small lil’ poncho tarp with gaps around the sides. Success! Super lends me his fuel can so I can make my oatmeal and coffee – thanks for your generosity Super. It’s a chilly morning. I have no headroom in my tarp so I chill with Jingles under their tarp for a minute where there’s actually room to sit up.
Eventually I pack up and hit the trail around 10, after the rain stops. It’s steep up the Mahoosuc Arm for sure, but honestly it’s nothing out of the ordinary. Super passes me. I’m at the Speck Pond shelter for lunch at noon, where I meet Nature’s Son, then the caretaker, Tigger, whose plan is to stir poop today. It’s cold and I bundle up. Back on the trail after a 30 or 40 minute break. Up Old Speck Mountain where it’s super windy and cold. I can barely see anything. Then down, down, down. Past a few folks who tell me of a cooler full of trail magic ahead. Always exciting. Once at the parking lot, I enjoy a snack cake, Oreos, and a sandwich from the trail magic cooler along with a Sobo Flip-Flop Yo-yo’er chick called George. A passing parks employee shares news of sunnier weather on the horizon. It’s definitely cold now, so I would love a little sunshine.
After my leisurely break, it’s time for an afternoon uphill. Another 2-3 miles to Baldpate Lean-to. I arrive at the small 3-sided shelter before 6. Another 4 miles to the next? Nah. It’s a relatively short day and I always feel the push to max out my miles, but I’ll enjoy this shorter-mileage day while I can. At the shelter and vicinity I find a group of gap year kids, Super, Nature’s Son, and Peanut. It’s just me and Peanut set up in the shelter. Relax and hang out. Ramen. Hot chocolate. Whew it’s nice to air out all my wet gear. I settle in for some writing in the chilly air before hitting the hay. Tomorrow it’s less than 10 miles into town…