Tuesday, May 16, 2017

A stone sentinel in the forest

Predawn wakeup got me started early for a long day with fifteen miles ridge climbs and descents. I survived.

My first ascent went well, but as the day warmed my pace slowed. The last climb to 4400 feet took a lot of mental override to push my body up over the summit of Gardner Mountain.

I wanted to stop here and see the stone forester's house that was converted to a hiker's cabin. Pretty impressive! The cabin was filled with thru hikers, so I set up my tent well away from them.

Another section hiker I chatted with proudly announced that he will cross the 1000 mile mark tomorrow. Someday I plan to get there also, I said, though not too soon --like these thru hikers, I am at the 25 percent mark. They have been on the Trail two months, I've been two years -- so by my standards, I'm winning!

Trail art courtesy an unknown thru hiker

After completing all the evening rituals, though, I climbed back up to listen to their banter while we all waited for the sunset. The young NOBOs were actually behaving reasonably well, (possibly due to presence of a half dozen older guys?)

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