Hall Mountain Lean-to [mile 1269.3; SOBO 250.9]
Miles to the border: 30.9
Half-day. When you fall off the moose, you get back on. But you don’t jump into the Kentucky Derby; you just trot around the block a couple of times and enjoy the success. 😉
Today was cool, more or less sunny, and… are you sitting down?… not raining! The breeze blew steadily, which kept the bugs away. Kind of a perfect hiking day, really. Yeah, everything was dripping and slimy and slippery, but I went slowly and climbed a couple of mountains, and that was progress. Back on the moose!
That one steep descent really was. I passed a couple of northbound hikers (I don’t know whether they were doing a long section or a thru; I kind of got mixed signals, and the conversation was over before I had a chance to ask). I asked them how the trail below was, and they looked at me glumly and said, “It’s all stairs and rebar.” And I thought, Stairs and rebar! Hot damn! That’s a vacation!
It wasn’t really a vacation, but I did enjoy the stairs and rebar parts.
At one point I passed an Outward Bound group on their third day in the wilderness. I’d stopped for lunch and ended up having a nice conversation with one of the young guys. He’s loving it out here and being away from the technology. But he was hungry (they’re given a bagel and a piece of cheese and set loose in the woods for 72 hours), and it didn’t seem fair of me to chow down on Oreos and beef jerky while he stood there salivating. So I saved lunch for later.
I met one NOBO I knew by name: Funnybone. And he was a funny guy. Very optimistic, very entertaining. Then later, climbing up Hall Mountain, I passed two more: Chupacabra and OB. I’d seen Chupacabra in the registers, and he turned out to be kind of impish. The name suited him! But OB was somebody I’d met before. Way back near Erwin, doing the Humps, was where I met Pathfinder for the first time. She was traveling with OB and Headbones; they were slacking SOBO and giving out trail magic. So it was great to see OB again. He’s going to text Pathfinder and tell her I said hi.
We chatted and exchanged trail info about the Whites and the Hundred.
It was a lazy, chatty kind of day. I knew I was doing low miles, so there was no need to rush.
And that’s about that, I think! Slow day, but I got exactly where I said I was going to get. That’s a victory. Thirty miles and we’re done with Maine!
Tomorrow: a long slow down then a long slow up. Partly sunny with a chance of rocks.
I’m glad I stuck it out. Big thanks to Blackbird and David at Pine Ellis hostel.