It was a lovely night of sleep in my bed at Green Mountain House. I woke up early to get going on banana pancakes for the crew. Another couple of hikers was already up and had made chocolate chip and blueberry pancakes, and it smelled great. I started making the pancakes, Scatters made coffee and eggs and sliced strawberries, Power Pack had a community coffee crumble, and Boss had brought orange juice. It was a great family breakfast to follow the great family dinner last night. It all felt so comfortable and home-y! There was so much extra food we couldn't carry (we'd all weighed our packs and they were all 34+ lbs!), and it was hard to leave it all behind. But! I know it will make a few other hikers very happy when they arrive for the night.
Jeff shuttled five hikers off to the trail at 7:30, then came back for five more at 9. Scatters and I were in the last shuttle at 9:30, and that was just fine. We were walking by 10:20, and wanted to get at least 15 miles in.
Our first climb was up Bromley Mountain, which is a ski mountain. The last half mile was walking up a ski slope! When I got to the top, Boss was having a moment on the summit with the view and a snack. The rest of the group had just left to move on. Scatters arrived and she and I went up the tower for a better view. (this is when you called me, Dan) We went back to where Boss was and snacked before moving on.
The next mountain was Styles Peak and another snack break. Boss, Scatters and I were the last ones to leave, and we saw a strange light in the sky right above a far away mountain. We couldn't figure out what it was (and it was driving me crazy!), but it stayed visible for 15 minutes or so. Weird.
Back to hiking and chatting about life. We hit up Peru Peak, which didn't really have a view, then we cruised downhill until we landed at a shelter for yet another snack. A bunch of people were there, and the weather seemed to be cooling down. The last two days have been warm and humid.
We passed Griffith Lake (and sat down for a quick break/snack), and hiked on the last few miles to the Big Branch shelter, which is right on a river. Really great spot, but not too many tenting sites. Tripper and Wizard were there and had had a swim in the soaking pools. Boss jumped in for a bit while we set up our tents. Power Pack, Scatters and I went to say hi to the Aussies and had a dip in the river, too. Nice and refreshing! Almost as good as a shower...
Back up the hill, we all made dinner, and Boss/Deetz made a fire. The sky started getting stormy and there was thunder rumbling. Most of us got through dinner before it started to sprinkle, and then TC and Powder (with Russell) showed up. Hey guys!
The rain held off so everyone could get situated, but then it started up. I was ready to hop in my tent to stay dry (even though it was still a bit light out) and that's exactly what I did. Blogging now, but all of a sudden, quite tired... And now it's pouring. Hope it finishes by morning.
Tim and Sarah - although I have thought about it, I am currently 95% sure I won't yo-yo back down to Georgia once I finish at Katahdin. As much as I don't want this trip to end, I do believe that my body will need a big, fat break (and my wallet could use some income!)
Itinerary - thanks for reading and keeping track of us. We miss you out here, but we know that showers and a bed (and the wife) must be nice to have around again....
-- Posted from the trail...
Location:Big Branch Shelter