Miles today: 22.6
Miles total: 531.0
Miles total: 531.0
Currently sitting in my tent...
I have to start off by talking about last night. The mosquitoes were torturous. In Maine, the little black flies go home to their families after dark. Mosquitoes have no such morals. They stayed up all night buzzing in my ears and biting through my clothes. I had to duck in to my sleeping bag for protection, but I woke up drenched in sweat. I think I'll be staying in my tent more often unless something changes. But you live and learn. Despite waking up throughout the night, I didn't feel very tired when it was time to wake up. I hit the road and made great time over Bear Mountain. Since I was ahead of schedule (and also because I didn't really have a schedule to begin with), I stopped to have a look off of White Rocks Cliff. It wasn't anything particularly special, just a view down to the valley where farms stuck out between the trees. I like looking at stuff like that, even if it doesn't really merit a picture. The next miles came even faster and before I knew it, I was eating lunch next to the Big Black Branch River. I bought chocolate-flavored peanut butter yesterday. I'm still not sure if it was a good decision, but I'm eating it.
Next came a long, steady climb up to Baker Peak. The incline was so gradual that I wondered if I was even getting any higher sometimes. The heat of the day had kicked in at this point, but the cool air coming off the river kept it pretty comfortable. I stopped at Griffith Lake and sat on a log, just taking it in (another thing I like to do) for about 20 minutes, then I hiked the half mile to Peru Peak Shelter. I sat at the picnic table and talked to Chuckles, an easygoing but fast-paced nobo. Like many nobos ahead of him, he sang the praises of the Green Mountain Hostel, my destination in Manchester Center tomorrow. After he left, I relaxed for a couple hours and made dinner, escaping some of the daytime heat. Some section hikers passed through and I asked them if there were any good camping spots along the trail over the next two peaks, Peru and Styles. They could only think of one a mile ahead, which was a little less than I wanted to tack on at the end of the day. I thanked them and headed up Peru Peak, keeping my eyes open for well-worn spots. Sure enough, I spotted one and marked it with an "R" in the dirt just in case I couldn't find one farther down the trail. I got a little worried as I got towards Styles Peak and hadn't found another good spot, but as soon as I reached the top (or what I think is the top), a beautiful spot appeared. I snickered and set up my tent, happy to have just a short 7-mile walk in to Manchester Center tomorrow morning. Ice cream here I come!
Pictures: a bajillion rock cairns near White Rocks Cliff, the view of Griffith Lake from my log.