Friday, 9/11

AT Miles = 13.5 / 1971.8
Other Miles = 1.0 / 61.0
Total Miles = 14.5 / 2032.8

Miles to Katahdin = 206.5

Arrghh! Still more than 200 miles to go. When I got back on the trail
last Friday morning in Gorham, NH, it was just under 300 miles. 8 days
of hiking later, it is still over 200. This is so frustrating!

As I mentioned yesterday, I am back to slack packing today. And I have
compromised another one of my self-imposed rules. I hiked north to
south today. It was the only logical way to hike this section, as I
started out in the middle of nowhere at the end of a rough dirt road,
and hiked back to Rt 4 east of town. But it still rankles. Oh well, if
these compromises — slack packing, southbounding — help me get to
the end of this hike, then so be it.

I hiked over the three peaks of Saddleback today. Since I was hiking
north to south I crossed them in the order of Saddleback Junior, The
Horn, and Saddleback Mtn.

The high point of my day was running into some hikers I haven't seen
in a long time. First, I met McBride. I last saw McBride at the Green
Mountain House Hostel in Manchester Center, VT. Jodi even met McBride
the day she slack packed me over Mt Greylock in Massachusetts. A few
minutes later I met Kiwi, hiking with Stud The Dud. I last saw Kiwi
way back at The Doyle in Duncannon, PA, the night she ate an entire
half gallon of sherbet and went off on a fantastic sugar high.Kiwi
told me that her Dad, Papa Kiwi, whom I last saw eating lunch at Ten
Mile River in Connecticut, completed his thru-hike on Sept 4.

I made pretty good time hiking today. but it would have been a very
different story if I had been carrying my full pack. Even without it,
both knees were pretty sore by the time I got down to the road.I will
be slack packing for sure tomorrow, and probably the day after as

Once back to the road I stuck my thumb out and got a ride from the
first car that came by. I had the driver drop me off at the pub in
downtown Rangeley, and I had a beer and a decent dinner. Then I called
Bob at the hostel and he drove into town and picked me up. Now I've
showered and am doing my laundry. Since my shorts are in the laundry I
am walking around dressed only in my long johns. Fortunately, strange
clothing choices like this are acceptable among hikers.

Allen F. Freeman