We woke up to a very windy, cool morning, and so hiked to the next shelter, about 2 miles, to cook and eat a hot breakfast. Weatherman came there also. That day I just felt dead. I think the high mileage the day before had been a bit much for this hiker. I moved so slowly, that I would tell Keith to go on up ahead (it's kind of hard for him to move slow), and then we would meet occasionally. We made a date for lunch on top of Max Patch, which we heard had another gorgeous view. Weatherman kept hiking either right ahead or me, or behind me. We kept passing each other. I would also pass Melody and Boots occasionally. My left shoulder was really bothering me again, and so they offered a Swiss remedy at one point, and it helped A LOT! It was a spray that was all herbal, and it made your skin really cold for a long time.
We finally reached Max Patch, and took the shortest route to the top, and found Keith and Ray lying in the grass field on top, in the sun. There were families up there (a parking lot was close by) flying kites and picnicing. It was a perfect day with a beautiful blue sky. We laid on the grass for a long time after lunch, making shapes out of the clouds. First it started out like, 'That one looks like a turtle,' but it soon turned to, 'Hey, that kind of looks like a hamburger, or a hot dog." Well, you get the idea.
I discovered that I had gotten off of the AT when I shortcutted to the top, and so I left my pack with Keith and backtracked back down, got back on the AT, and took the actual trail to the top. I wanted to make sure that when we are done, I have hiked the whole thing. No shortcuts allowed!
We hiked on north, and I tried to go faster, but just did not have it in me to speed up at all. We also accidentally got off of the trail at two places. We didn't get off for very long, and would backtrack as soon as we no longer saw blazes, and always found the trail again very quickly. I guess that's a sign that we were pretty tired. Boots and Melody kept passing us when we would get off the trail, and they kept wondering how they got ahead of us. It was pretty funny.
We were getting pretty close to our shelter for the night, but once again, it was turning into another really long day, and I was only slowing down, so Keith took the tent poles (I carry the poles, he carries the tent), and headed on up ahead so he could have camp set up when I got there.) As we went up the trail, it followed the most beautiful stream that at one point, flowed down these smooth black rocks that were as big as a roof. It was just beautiful! When I finally reached the top of the mountain, another hiker pointed me in Keith's direction, and I just had enough energy to cook supper, eat, and get into my sleep bag. Pooped! It was also very windy and chilly. I slept in all of my winter gear that night.