Start Milepost: 1783.8 Time: 06:25
End Milepost: 1791.1 Time: 09:35
Miles hiked: 7.3
Miles to go: 398.7
Weather: sunny, cool
Temps: 40’s°, 70’s°
Blue Side trails:
Map: Click on map pin
Having gone with Plan D today I put myself in a quandary. I had only 7-plus miles to hike to the Hiker’s Welcome Hostel where Scamper had mailed my resupply. That distance was knocked out in about three hours leaving me with nothing to do for the rest of the day, except rest! With heavy rain due at 15:00 I had an outside chance of slackpacking and being done before the rain came. Or, I could join a couple of other hikers and head for Moosilauke and skip slackpacking. The window to make the decision was narrow. To complicate the decision, Legion suggested doing the subsequent 16 ridge in two days vice one. More thinking required. I don’t want to add days to the schedule!
It was not a decision by indecision, but close to it. I elected to stay put for two nights notwithstanding the rather bare bones nature of this hostel. The hiker shower is outdoors and it is matched by a porta potty. No, this is not the Green Mountain hostel.
I will slack pack the nine-plus miles of Moosilauke tomorrow. I have no idea how long that will take. I’ll bet six hours and expect to be back at Hiker’s Welcome at 14:00 if Legion (hostel proprietor) puts me at the the trailhead at 08:00. That will amount to a slightly shorter day than normal, but nothing going forward is expected to be normal.
On Thursday, Legion will carry my heavy gear in a tagged, garbage bag to the Notch Hostel after he drops me at the trailhead. I shared that info with Serena at Notch Hostel. She is expected to retrieve said gear for me. And that brings up another issue: pickup at Franconia Notch. Since I will be starting the hike from Kinsman Notch later than Serena’s hikers, I will have to request a personal shuttle pickup at Franconia Notch for a $10 fee. Life consists of choices….
More issues: Franconia Notch is where my next resupply is to be picked up. More food than I probably need. Guess what? It is better than the alternative – not enough food! I will make friends with a hungry hiker and feed him. One related issue with that resupply; the resupply was shipped to welcome center. It closes at 17:30 increasing the urgency to move with a purpose after being dropped at Kinsman Notch. I will have 9.5-hours to hike 16 miles in tough terrain. Methinks it is doable. If I don’t arrive at the center before closing time, all is not lost. I will just be late starting the next day when the center reopens. Permutations.
Writing about food reminds me that I could have gone for a burger an hour ago when a local asked if I wanted to join him. I thanked him, but elected to stick with my current meal plan: Mountain House and sundries. Ah, but I did partake of an ice-cream sandwich earlier today after polishing off two tuna salad packets that were supposed to have been for lunch yesterday and the day prior. It is tough remembering to eat — except breakfast and snacks all morning long, or when I anticipate a long climb. Long climbs demand a Snickers bar and so far there has always been one in my food pockets.
So, back to extra food…. I gave away some Cliff bars I purchased in Hanover to a vegetarian couple who otherwise passed on my extra tuna salad packets that were also purchased in Hanover. They also took mashed potatoes I probably bought in CT! They also passed on the packet of salami that was part of the mashed potato supper.
Note: yesterday was my 99th day on the trail. At that stop point I had hiked my planned AT average of 18 miles per hike day. Going forward, that average will proceed to decrease as either the terrain gets more difficult or the shelter locations make a day’s distance less accommodating. Pun intended.