Last night, I had no trouble falling asleep, but I woke up about 1 am hearing a man's voice. It kept me awake for a long time. I finally figured out that a TV was on in the room next to ours, which would be the office. I finally figured out it was on the weather channel. It drove me crazy. I kept waking up, and had the hardest time ignoring it. It did not seem to keep Keith awake. There were no phones in the room, or I would have called the office. It was still blaring when our alarm went off this morning. When we left this morning, it was very early, before the office opened, so I left a very polite but informative note for the manager. I wanted them to know that in six months of staying on the trail and in various hotels and hostels, that was the worst night's sleep yet.
We walked down a few buildings to a cute cafe called Moosely Bagels and ordered breakfast. They opened at 6:30, and we were there when the door opened. Swamprat joined us, but did not bring his pack. Things had gotten worse back home, with the hurricane damage, and he just didn't know what he would do yet. He decided to stay put, where he had cell coverage, and catch up to us later. He's a very strong hiker, so we knew he would have no problem doing that.
The couple who gave us the ride yesterday offered to take us to the trail today. They showed up about 7:10, and Maddie stayed with Swamprat while Dave took us to the trail.
We had great trail to begin with, and it was easy to hike fast. We did the first 1.5 miles in 30 minutes. After that. It began steadily climbing. We passed several ponds along the way, but no moose yet.
We would be climbing three peaks today - Saddleback, the Horn, and Saddleback Junior. As we got closer to the first one, all of a sudden the wind really began blowing hard over the top of the mountain. As we got above the free line, it got really cold. The wind had to be blowing 30-40 mph, and the wind chill had to be in the 30's. Brrrrr! We were both in shorts and t-shirts, so we stopped and pulled on long sleeves and hats, and I had some wool socks handy, so I put those on my hands. The sun was out, so that made it comfortable.
(For those of you who might think I wrapped a shirt around my head in this photo - it's not! That's called a buff (buyabuff.com), and it has been the most functional piece of clothing that I purchased for this trip. Its basically a tube of stretchy fabric (mine is made of soft merino wool) that's made to be worn like 20 different ways. I've worn mine as a hat, ear muff, headband, turtle neck, and even to cover my nose on really cold nights. If I end up on Survivor, I may even wear it as a tube top!!!!! - NOT!)
Except for the high winds, it was a beautiful day, so we had incredible views. I love sections of trail like the one today, because when we were above the tree line, we could see exactly where the trail went over the next mountain. We could see hikers on the next mountain over, and when we met them, it turned out to be another pre orientation group, this one from Bates College. They were cold too, so we didn't chat long. As long as we were hiking, we were warm.
We sat behind a big rock on the Horn and ate lunch, and Keith discovered one of his socks was missing that had been hanging on his pack. I figured a gust of wind had taken it when we were on Saddleback.
When we reached the final peak, Saddleback, Jr., we had cell service, and we both called our folks and checked in. As we went down that final descent, a hiker named Mary Poppins (he used to carry an umbrella on his pack) caught us, and Keith asked him if he had seen a sock. He said that he had found one way back by the ponds. It turned out to be Keith's missing sock! Keith was thrilled. He thanked him, and Mary Poppins hiked on. He is young and fast!
After he left, Keith realized he was carrying a whole box of Ring Dings (childhood treat - its like a Ding Dong for those of us who grew up in the south) in his pack, and wished he had given him one. We decided that if we caught up to him again, he deserved a Ring Ding as a reward for returning the missing sock.
We had quite a long descent before we would reach our campsite that we hoped to reach. Keith got ahead of me, and I decided to take a quick break, take an Aspirin (my feet were talking to me at this point), pull off my boots, and have a snack. Just as I sat down, along came Mary Poppins. He had taken a break at some point, and we had passed him up without knowing it. I told him that F100 had a reward for him, that it was edible, and chocolate. He hiked on with a big smile on his face, anxious to find Keith.
It wasn't long before he found Keith, and Keith gave Mary Poppins a Ring Ding. Keith said he was very excited to get it.
We ended up at one of the coolest campsites to date, up a steep hill, right beside a waterfall. We even cooked right alongside the stream. Should be a great place to get caught up on sleep after my unfortunate night last night.
- Steady and F100