Mahoosuc

Mile 1917.8

Yesterday’s update was image heavy, so it may post out of order. FYI, this post comes after the one entitled Moose Tour 2019. This’ll probably be a continuing problem, here in the land of no signal, so I’ll try to remember to attach mileages for reference.

I didn’t see a moose today. I did, however, hike with a NOBO named Firefly who saw one earlier—in Vermont, maybe? Firefly started March 7. I also met a young guy today, Tin Can, who started May7. All the salmon hitting the end of the stream at the same time, because the journey ends when Maine is done.

Firefly’s husband works for NASA, designing doodads and bits of equipment for the International Space Station. How cool is that?

So. The water filter tuned that brown muddy stuff crystal clear! I was astonished! I treated it anyway. So many of these water sources are beaver ponds, moose swimming holes, and frog swamps that I’m extra paranoid. Or… the same degree of paranoid, because I’ve been double treating since Harper’s Ferry. 😁

This morning. Oh, man, this morning! I totally forgot that this section was that crazy misery with the funky rebar and steps. So… I made it! Got through the rebar, survived the vertical slab descents and the walls of sheer rock. Got to Mahoosuc Notch at 1. My cutoff had been 2:30, so… boom! I yanked up my socks and went in.

I couldn’t even get up the first boulder! It took like… 5 minutes, and I slammed my shin and scraped all the skin off my left butt cheek, Boulder 1. Joy! Mark me down for ‘hardest mile’ rather than ‘most fun mile.’ I’m battered, bruised, and skinned.

But I got through it. 2.5 hours, as opposed to the 3 hours first time around. Guthooks helped, because I could keep checking and screaming, “PLEASE DEARGOD, IS IT OVER SOON?”

My pack, though, didn’t fare as well. One of the side pockets got torn to crap on the rocks—which is going to cause me some logistical problems. I covered it with Tenacious Tape. Fingers crossed that it sticks, but I’m not holding my breath. It hasn’t been sticking to anything. Just 270 miles. It only had to last 270 miles or so.

What else? Nada. A flip-flopper named Roy just joined me at this stealth site. That’s good. I like to camp with a few other people, these days. Roy flipped in PA, so that’s where he’s headed.

Tomorrow: Mahoosuc Arm, Old Speck Mountain, other satanic ups and downs.

I have to call the hostel in Andover tomorrow to make sure they’re running the shuttle on Saturday. I might zero at that place… but probably not. No food there, except what they might sell on premises. Frozen pizza. If I zero, I’d rather do it in a town. But I don’t think I’m in a real town until Monson, before the Hundred.

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