(Daily Mi: 23.8) Just a wonderful hike today. Longest Trail miles of the trip to date. Walked more actual miles to White House Landing in ME (about 25 including side trails), but the last 2 miles or so of that day were sadly 'uncredited'
High altitude meadows, open ridge line, cool rock formations and more feral ponies. It is the weekend and there are lots of people out today. Deservedly popular area.
Overcast and very windy first thing. Had breakfast at Thomas knob with the wind just pounding the exposed back face of the shelter.
Bumped into a madman named Fantasy Feet walking north from Springer. Had first met him just south of the Lehigh Gap in PA. He was walking south at the time, having started at the MA/CT border.
Funny because he is a bit of a mystical loner, and I was really dubious that he'd make it to Springer (Gizmo, the PA Ridge Runner, had expressed a similar concern). But here he was Yo-yoing back north with a good 2000 miles behind him. Said he would keep walking as far north as the weather permitted.
Got real sunny by mid-afternoon. Terrific views in the southern most part of the Highlands. Knobby climb up, but open ridge and perfect skies. Views well into N. Carolina and Tennessee. Very nice in the sun. Water has been good all day. One boxed spring on the southern ridgeline is pumping water so hard it nearly blows the cover off.
Steep and endless climb down off the ridgeline. Pretty much ran out of gas on the last bit of the hike. Just felt like it would never end.
Nice enough shelter. In with Brother, and an older section hiker out of Damascus and his unusually beautiful friend from Canada. She lived in DC for a long time and we exchange local gossip.