Chatter in the common room wakes me up about 6. The lights are on and it looks stormy outside so I turn over and wait for my 6:15 alarm. When it comes I snooze it. At 6:30 I roll out of bed and get dressed. The shuttle leaves in 40 minutes. I’m so tired. I catch a shuttle in the hostel owner’s 90s white Cadillac. I’m on the trail by 7:30. The clouds and fog clear as I begin walking down the road passed a hydro electric dam and onto a dirt road that led to the trail. The terrain was moderate for a while and then started climbing upward to the top of Mt Hayes. Maybe it was from poor sleep or not eating enough calories yesterday but I was feeling drained. I had no momentum. I was dead on my feet. I began to worry if I had been bitten by a tick. Earlier in the summer my friend Cecil began his flip flip thru hike in Harpers Ferry but in the Whites we was feeling weak and found out he had been bitten by a tick and infected. Cecil checked himself into a hospital where he was given the appropriate medication to clear up the parasite but he had to end his hike.
The trail here is poorly maintained. Overgrown plants block the trail and it’s almost like bushwhacking conditions. Other hikers say it’s because this section doesn’t attract the same amount of tourists so the Appalachian Mountain Club neglects it. After my descent of Mt Hayes I began climbing cascade mountain and then down and back up to Wocket Ledge. All through the day, I kept leap frogging the the 20 somethings hikers from the hostel including Black Widow who I had met on my 7th day at the Quarter Way Inn in Ceres, Virginia. They were all hiking 17 miles to the Maine border today. I had planned to do that too. As I was climbing down Wocket Ledge I ran into another hiker I hadn’t seen since Virginia. Small Slice. I met her at Woods Hole Hostel back in May. We had a quick chat before hiking on. I arrived at Gentian Pond Shelter at 3:30pm and decided that’s as far as I could go today. I didn’t even have energy to set up my tent. A hiker named Tech Support was there. He was a guy about to turn 70 and was having some knee problems so he had flown back home to get his car and drive it back out to do some short sections. Tech Support had hiked to the Maine border and back today. I blew up my matt and laid in my sleeping bag for a while until dinner time.
After dinner, Moonwalk arrived. Even later, just at sunset Amish Built showed up. I went down to the pond to see if I could catch sight of any moose but there were none. I settled back into the shelter to enjoy the mountain view from my sleeping bag and I drifted off to sleep.
Miles: 1893.7 – 1905.5 (11.8)