Lone Growth

Day 134 (Mile 1832 – 1848.4):

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Pemigewasset River – Mile 1841.4

Tons of great views today as well!

Made my way towards South Twin Mountain. Great views of Mt. Washington from this summit as well as Mt. Lafayette from yesterday.20170827_103423

Ran into Disciple here.  The last time I saw Disciple was on Day 130 at Hikers Welcome Hostel.  Anyway, he is looking through his phone, like two inches away from his face.  I ask him what he is doing, and he said he was using his phone to look at Mt. Washington and I was like why? 🤔 He said he was legally blind.  I was like wait…how come you didn’t mention that the first time we met?  He was like, I thought you knew.  I was having a mind-blowing moment right then and there. 🤯  This was not an ordinary passerby, this guy was hiker, I have had long conversations with off and on since Day 116!  Everything right there was coming together.  In Vermont on Day 117, he had been hiking in front of me and was not phased at all when the pheasant came charging at us.  That should have been my first clue.  I thought at the time that he was a courageous dude.  It also made sense how he mixed up Speedy and I.  Yes, we look similar beard and hair wise, but he has blue eyes and I have brown.  His YouTube channel that he mentioned earlier in Vermont called, “Not By Sight” would have been the big give away, but I never took the time to check it out.  It’s shocking to me how oblivious I was.  Even though I did not watch his channel, I knew the channel was called Not By Sight.  Casually (Nope), I ask how do you hike?  He said, I can see shapes, just not detail.  I apologized for being obvious and talked a bit more before I parted.  That was the last time we had crossed paths.  It was the last time I saw a lot of people including Cur Dog, who always hiked with Disciple.  Apparently, I was crushing large miles in the Whites.

Update:  Disciple had been vlogging up on top of South Twin Mountain so look who I found walking across the shot in his vlog: 😃  https://youtu.be/D0isREglzj4?t=650

Around Zeacliff at Mile 1837.8, I ran an older fellow in his 60s who went by Chef 6.0.  We spoke and after our conversation he thanked me for, as he put it, one of the best conversations he had on trail.  From what I remember we talked about life direction after the trail including his business idea, if I am remembering correctly was to become a chef at a non-profit.  I had just recently finished “Start with Why” by Simon Sinek so it was likely, I was in the prime mind state to pick his brain.  I mentioned age discrimination and a couple of other factors he might encounter.  He appreciated my honestly and thanked me for my input after listening to him.  After our conversation, he was much more animated, and to me seemingly excited for life post trail.

We split at Zealand Falls Hut.   I decided to take a break there for a bit.  There were some self-serve honor system snacks out on a table inside the hut.  I bought something…I think it was cornbread and ate it outside on a bench.  I was chilling there for a while when I noticed what appeared to be a pile of snakes huddling together for warmth in the sun behind the bench I had been sitting on.  I spot five.  How many do you see?20170827_140326

It was pretty chilly for snakes to be out.  I remember having to start hiking again to regain warmth after the sun snuck back into the clouds.

After the hut, the trail was pretty much flat until the train tracks by route 302.  Somewhere in this section, I decided to start listening to a new audio book called, “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck” by Mark Manson.  This is probably the best self help book I have ever read…well listened to!  It was also quite entertaining as well.  This was the first time I listened to it, but on trail I listened to this book a total of three times.

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Before the train track, I had crossed a foot bridge, home to the beautiful river as posted in the beginning of this post.  For my 25th birthday a very close friend gifted me this painting based on that photo.0327192204_HDR

Incredible work! Right!?!  You can find more of the artist’s work here: https://www.hopehilgartner.com/

Stealthed again tonight this time at Webster Cliffs.  Again, to find the spot, I looked on Guthook.  I remember being a little uneasy this night.  One of the previous commenters, said they had saw a moose there while stealth camping.  This particular night I also remember breaking one of my stakes here.  While there were very nice flat spots in the trees by this cliff as mentioned on Guthook, the ground seemed to be mostly rock an inch under the dirt.  I had gotten all the other stakes in fine, but the one I broke near a tree of all places would not go in the ground in that 3-square foot area.  I should just have moved my tent, but out of (impatience) not wanting to set my tent a couple feet towards another direction, I just tried for force it in with my foot, stupidly.

Aside from that mini frustration, the sunset views were great! 20170827_17454820170827_181813

Side Notes:
  • I managed to find some notes for my previous post, Day 133. That said, here is what I typed up:
    • The whites are worth the hard work! Tons of balds today! No place to piss.  Some of the most beautiful views I have ever seen on the entire trail.  Felt like I was on top of the world today.  Making it this far, I am confident I can handle any problem life throws at me.  I’ll simply approach the problem the same way on the trail, one step at a time.
  • Headphones broke today, though not from water damage this time. It doesn’t look like I wrote what from, but I do remember listening to my audio books out loud for portions of the trail.
  • Tomorrow, day 135, was probably the best day I had on the Appalachian Trail. Again, I will try my best to encapsulate my extraordinary experience. 😆
  • Recently found out you can bring up the emoticon window on a Windows machine using the short cut keys: “Windows Key” + “.” or “Windows Key + “;”

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