Saturday, 8/8

AT Miles = 12.4 / 1759.9
Other Miles = 0.1 / 55.1
Total Miles = 12.5 / 1815.0

Miles to Katahdin = 418.4

Boy,it was cold lat night! I wore every bit of clothing I have, which isn't all that much, while sitting around after supper. Normally I wiuld have crawled into my sleeping bag to stay warm and passed the evening reading, but there was a nice group of weekenders and section hikers at the shelter, and I greatly enjoyed their company as we all sat around the campfire and sipped shots of Jack Daniels from a bottle one of them had brought. After watching a bright orange moon rise around i8:30, I finally did go to bed and barely stayed warm during the night.

I allowed myself the luxury of sleeping in a bit, and thus didn't get moving until 7:30 this morning. It was a surprisingly tough day's hike, which found me at the summit of Smarts Mountain about a quarter of two this afternoon. It surprises and worries me how tired I am and how much my knees ache after hiking only 11 miles yesterday and 12.5 miles today.

I set up my hammock near the Fire Wardens Cabin here near the summit, and after reading for a while managed to fall asleep for a while; I'm not sure how long. It is 6:00PM now and again I am wearing all the clothes I have but am not quite keeping warm. I will be in Glencliff on Monday morning where I will pick up a food drop and some warmer clothes that Jodi mailed to me there. I decided not to have Jodi send my warmer sleeping bag yet, planning to continue using my summer bag. I hope that doesn't prove to be a mistake. I will have my warm long johns to wear at night, as well as my down jacket which I add to the bottom insulation of my hammock on cold nights.

I saw a bear this morning; my fourth to date. I heard him moving through the underbrush and stopped to look. Once he was far enough away to not feel threatened, he stopped and looked back, and we stood for several minutes studying each other. Any day I see a bear is a good day.

Two of the section hikers that were at Moose Mountain SHelter last night had said they were planning to be here tonight, but they haven't showed up yet. There are two other southbound hikers here tonight, who I haven't really had a chance to talk to yet. I am going to stop typing and cook my dinner now. I haven't had any cell coverage since leaving Hanover yesterday morning, so I'm not sure when I'll get to send this.

Oh, I think yesterday I said I assumed the Dartmouth colors were orange and black since the DOC uses those colors for their blazes and all their signs, but I have since been told the school colors are green and something, so I guess my theory is shot to heck. That'll teach me to assume anything.

"Home is where I hang my food bag"

Allen Freeman