Miles today: 19.5
Miles total: 67.8
Miles total: 67.8
Currently sitting in my tent...
Squeezing 9 people into an 8-person shelter last night was not a big deal. Mulligan just slept perpendicular to the rest of us. It was my first shelter stay out here, and it beat setting up my tent. On other days though, I like the space of tenting. All the guys in the shelter last night turned out to be really nice. It was good to meet a new crop of sobos. Among them were Murphy, Blackhawk, Up (the crazy guy who summitted Katahdin in the rain), Chef, and of course Mulligan and the Sobros, who have received many collective trail names (Dirty Mike and the Boyz, etc) but noo individual trail names yet. Speaking of which, neither have I! That will happen when it happens though.
I hiked out a little earlier than the others today in hopes of making another long day to a East Branch, 19.5 miles out. The trail was nice and flat to start, along with no mud, rocks, or roots to dodge, and it wasn't raining. So I was cruising and enjoying the time to myself for a bit. I got to East Branch Lean-to around noon and found the Sobros already eating. I joined them and soon so did everyone else from the last lean-to. We all decided that a long day was possible. After refilling water bottles, we headed out in scattered groups. I caught up to Murph at a water crossing and we ended up hiking the rest of the way up and over Little Boardman Mountain together. He completed a northbound thru-hike in 2010, so I pumped his brain for information, which he graciously supplied. We had to ford Pleasant River at the end of the day, but everyone made it across alright with Murphy's advice to face upstream for stability.
Today's first picture is of one of Maine's countless glacial ponds; the second is a lookout from Little Boardman Mountain.