Lone Growth

Day 137 (Mile 1873.2 – 1893.8):

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This was a hard day, maybe my most challenging, full of climbing and butt sliding.   This section could arguably be the hardest section of the AT through the Whites, which specially goes over the Wild Cats and the Carters.  This day was a planned challenge though, planned from the previous night.  The plan was coined from Speedy’s desire to break his Dad’s time through this particular section.  I was up for the challenge.  I mean I also wanted to split rooms with the guy in the next town but was mainly up for the challenge.

So, I woke up early, like 6:15am early.  I was about to go back to sleep, but then I saw that Speedy had already left, so I got up.  Not that I didn’t enjoy this, but I found myself pushing myself to try and catch up to him for most of the day.  He has said before he is not that fast, but take my word for it, he is fast, hence the trail name.

Not even a mile in, I was rock climbing.  I know you can’t really tell in the photo, but this was steep. 20170830_071247

This said, I am very thankful I had good weather passing through the Whites.  It was a good thing we did this 20-mile stretch in one day too, because it had rained the very next day.  A couple days later, I heard the rain resulted in ice atop of Mt. Washington just from that rain.  Could you imagine if my pace had been a little slower?

Anyway, I came to Carter Notch Hut.  This hut was the coziest hut I had been to thus far.  Unfortunately, no photos.  This is also the oldest in the entire park.  I had plenty of food, but something about the huts felt homey so I stayed for a bit, likely for more than just one bowl knowing me.  I don’t remember any of the soups now that it has been a little over two years, but I am sure I would remember if I ever had a bad experience.  Another reason I stopped by was to see if Speedy was there, but to my surprise he wasn’t.  I can’t imagine the time he got up.

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Came down to a divide in the trail for Imp Shelter and here I ran back into the hiker yearbook guy, “Matthew Odie Norman” who I had originally met in Erwin, on Day 30 who was kind enough to shuttle us to Walmart and back.  He was hiking southbound to make sure he ran into everyone he could to get their picture for the yearbook.  I don’t remember why I did not get a photo early on when I met him initially, but I didn’t so he took mine right then and there by the trail divide sign for the shelter.  You can find my picture inside the Hiker Yearbook class of 2017 under “Makin Bacon”, but just in case you have not seen it here it is:20170830_152755

I made it to the shelter we were supposed to meet up at and started to get a little concerned because Speedy wasn’t there.  I was first thinking, if I was at the right shelter and next thinking, maybe I took too long and he decided to go into town without me.  This is trivial, but at the moment, I had quite a few scenarios pass through my brain.  I pulled out my GPS device and messaged him, “Did I miss you or am I at the wrong shelter?”  I knew full well he was not going to see those messages until it was too late, so I just stayed put and looked through the journal at the shelter that I know neither of us write in, but it is a good messaging tool if he were use to go on ahead.  I mean if he did use the journal and go on ahead, I would probably be upset for the first couple minutes, but I would get over it.  He did leave super early.  About 30 minutes later, he had been hiking down the trail.  Apparently, I had passed him.  He said he was talking to someone on Mt. Moriah a little off trail about so that is most likely when I had passed him.

Anyway, since we still had some day light, we decided to just hike the remainder of the trail to the road from the shelter which was a little more than 2-miles.  By the time we got to the road we were a little worried because the hostel that had been by the road were unable to drive us to town until the next morning, so we had to hitch with the probably 15 minutes of daylight we had left.  Thankfully, we were able to get a hitch before the sun had completely set.  As one could imagine, it is not too bad to hitch at night, but the odds of getting hitch at night are much lower than during the day.  If we were not able to get a hitch, we were only about 3 miles out of town, which we could have walked if we really had to.

 

Side Notes:

Considering the previous photos, I have of Speedy, this is a good frontal of him:20170830_192559-01

Round two, this pizza was WAY better than the one we went to in Manchester Center, VT. 20170830_193511

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