Miles from Springer Mountain: 1793.3
Miles to Mount Katahdin: 398.7
Hello, New Hampshire! On the 18th I passed into NH after a long day of hiking, finally crossing the Connecticut River leaves me with only two states left to finish. After crossing the river I entered the town of Hanover where Dartmouth College is located, I stopped in town to gorge down 3 huge beers and 5 frisbee-sized pieces of pizza! I was ravenous, the pizza shop gave me one of the slices for free because I’m a thru-hiker. I stopped at a Co-op grocery store to pick up some ice cream then set up my tent in the woods about 50 yards from Dartmouth’s softball fields.
The bugs didn’t care about my accomplishments, the next day they swarmed and attacked ferociously – if someone videotaped it and couldn’t see the tiny bugs, it’d just be a hilarious video of a hairy man slapping himself while screaming expletives. The bugs may have won the battle, but I’ll win the war!
I’ve been pushing hard miles over the past week as I anticipate to meet some friends from home to section hike a small portion of NH. I planned out heavy days upfront so I was left with a couple shorter days, in hindsight I would have pushed harder to avoid some rain, but if I had hindsight my trail experience would look a lot different! I rented at the base of Smart Mountain so I could enjoy the summit tomorrow before I cruised towards a hostel later on.
A beautiful summit was not to be, the 20th was rainy and the trail was treacherous. I took some nasty spills and bent up a trekking pole pretty good, it did its job and kept me stable. I was completely waterlogged, but I was moving at a fast enough pace to avoid the cold. It’s tough mentally knowing you’re hiking a beautiful section, but you can’t enjoy it due to the rain. I marched onward towards the Hiker’s Welcome Hostel where I showered, laundried, and warmed up – also treating myself to a pint of Ben and Jerry’s! I’m anticipating my friends tonight, so that we can set off tomorrow!
In the last hour of my day on the 20th I passed the 400 miles left mark, I’m a month out from my intended summit date of July 18th. Math-wise I’m left with a pace of one hundred mile weeks, slower than what I have been doing, but planned smartly. The trails of New Hampshire and the Whites National Forest are some of the toughest overall on the AT, my pace will slow as I hike through the Presidential Mountains and high peaked of the Whites. I’m ready mentally and physically for the task, but I’m comforted with the mindset that I don’t need to rush and I’m not crunched for time. The end is in sight!
Thanks for following along!!