Last night at the Pine Ellis is what I needed. Eileen was so sweet and she had coffee and muffins for us on the porch this morning before driving us back to the Trail at 7:00. I left with my new crew of hikers and we had a big climb to start the day. The weather was so much better today. It was misty and cloudy which kept the temperatures down and the sun off of our necks. It was a blast to chat with Nasty Noodle again and we compared funny stories from the Trail all day. Just when I needed it the most, the Trail provided some cooler weather and a relaxing fun day.
We hiked a pretty easy 18 miles to Sabbath Day Pond. I slowed down my pace with the new group and they liked to take lots of little breaks along the way. It really helped to recover and still got in the miles I was looking to do. As soon as we got in, we made a big fire and I went for a swim in the warm pond. It is a big pond but pretty shallow so it was refreshing but very comfortable. I got out and stood next to the fire to dry off.
Today also gave me some confidence back. I was feeling really beat up yesterday but I ended up feeling closer to normal by the time we finished today. We talked a lot about Katahdin. Once we get over the Bigelow Mountains we will start to see it before we head into the 100 mile wilderness. It’s going to be a great sight to see her on the horizon. This has been such a big dream for so many years and I can’t believe that I’m planning my summit day logistics. Damn – it feels good.
I should be in Stratton by Friday or Saturday and will need to find a ride into town for a resupply and maybe treat myself to a hotel bed. I will miss the camping for sure but over 100 days of it has me anxious for the comforts of home. For now, I’ll just sit back in my sleeping bag and watch the fire die down. The birds are singing their afternoon songs and a cool breeze is carrying away the humidity. The Trail continues to draw me farther down to my goal. Sometimes she leads me gracefully.