July 20th
Imp Shelter(1879)-US 2/Swinja’s(1887) New Hampshire

Elevation chart courtesy of Guthook’s AT Hiker app. He has apps for many trails including the PCT and CDT.

Notice: For these final weeks through Maine, I may have less service, so the posts may get delayed, but know I’ll get them posted as soon as I can.

Today we got going at our regular 6:30am time. We had one climb to get over Mt Moriah and then it was downhill to Hwy 2 where Sweetfish’s dad was going to pick us up and take us back over to Swinja’s. It was a wonderful cool morning with low lying fog in the valley as we climbed up. Some of the views reminded me of northern Washington on the PCT and I was having flashbacks to the end of that hike as well.

I didn’t even notice until Jett Cat pointed it out that the mountain laurel up there was pink instead of white. It was really cool.

We were just taking it all in and loving the views and wisps of clouds this morning. A great end to a great leg!

We got another view looking back on the Presidentials we were on two days ago. The one on the far left is Mt. Washington and we walked across that ridge. As we descended, we walked on a lot of planks throughout the morning.

We only had 8mi to do, but we couldn’t break our slipping streak and I had a good one onto my pack on a slick angled rock. I was a bit like a turtle in getting up and Jett Cat kindly got a photo…

More stream crossings, but we’ve kept our feet dry so far.

It was still a bit of slow hiking on steep downhill rocks, but the last three miles were a flat wide trail and we loved it! We made it to the trail head by 10:15am as it just started to rain unexpectedly. Sweetfish’s dad drove up a few minutes later and we didn’t even get wet. We can’t believe how great our timing was for this leg! When Sweetfish got home from work, he offered to take us on rides on his motorcycle. Of course, Jett Cat has owned a motorcycle and has her motorcycle license, but it is one of my fears. I haven’t been on one since I was a kid. After some encouragement, I decided to just go for it and I survived! The group found my pommel horse mount of the motorcycle entertaining so I had to include it.

I also got to Skype with Rockin’ who is section hiking the PCT and was at Shelter Cove in Oregon. Just perfect timing and it was great to see her on the trail. We went to town in the nearby town of Littleton where they have many things to honor the character and author of the children’s book Pollyanna. We just had to get a picture of the arms flung wide at the Pollyana statue.

Then we had dinner at Sweetfish and Ninja’s favorite Thai restaurant and had a great chocolate dessert to complete a pretty great day…

But the fun didn’t stop there, we got to Skype with Burly and LoveNote, who we all hiked with on the CDT. They are now living together with their dog Huckleberry who they rescued at the end of the CDT.

So another pretty perfect day and I’m just really happy. Tired from lack of sleep, but very happy. I just wish there were more hours in the day! I have been having such a great time this past week with Jett Cat that I’ve been having to stay up much later to blog and haven’t gotten to my emailing, so I’m sorry if I haven’t gotten back to some of you. It’s a big step for me to detach from the blogging enough to focus on others and it’s been a work in progress over the last few years/trails. Others who have hiked with me know I tend to be around, but often retreat to my space to get blogging done often at the expense of the social experience. This is a big deal that I’ve found someone to pull me out of that shell and I know that what makes the AT special is that it’s such a social trail, so I’m trying to find a balance with both the social and the blogging. Be proud, I’m growing!

Speaking of social, we are going to have Sweetfish with us these next two days as he has the next two days off work. It will be fun to hike with him again and have him there for some of the most difficult miles on the AT. There are still some days of very slow going over precarious terrain ahead, so our mileages won’t be increasing much. We’re excited to enter Maine soon and savor these final weeks as we hear Maine is beautiful. Difficult, but beautiful. Good night:)

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