Day 119 – Lincoln, NH and The Whites

Greetings from the white mountains! Ive survived my first day out, having done a resupply in Lincoln last night. I hiked about 16 miles today, which isn’t too bad considering I got started at 11 am. So far the whites are all they’ve been cracked up to be. When I previously heard that they were difficult, I assumed it was merely the length and grade of the climbs that made it rough. Accordingly, I thought I would be able to compensate without too much hassle by pushing harder. That has been partly true, the climbs are brutal, but the real pace killer are the trails themselves. So far they’ve been muddy, rocky, not very straight, and narrow. It makes it very hard to make good time. That being said, it was still a fun day, albeit a tough one.

The real reason I’m writing tonight though is that I wasn’t quite truthful in my last post. While it was a week of highs and lows, the lows greatly eclipsed the highs and the highs seemed tenuous and half fulfilled at best. After my long period without a bubble, I was finally with a group again. It was definitely nice in some ways, it was the most people I camped with since Virginia for a few nights which was fun, but in general I didn’t love the group. They’re good people, but of a different mindset and I just didn’t quite click with them as well as I have most other people I’ve met on the trail. So it was nice at times, but never felt quite right, and that brought on some really bad lows. In fact for the first time yet I actually lost hope that things would get better. I was beginning to think, with such little time left, I wouldn’t find a group I liked again. And that really brought me down.

But yesterday turned things around completely. I summited Mt. Moosilauke, the first peak above treeline for NOBOs, and the view was absolutely phenomenal. The group I had been hiking with made a conscious decision to split up through the whites to make finding lodging, camping, and free food at the huts easier, so I was on my own and really enjoyed the break. Then, that afternoon, I met a bunch of friendly SOBOs and stayed at a great semi-hostel. But best of all I saw three guys from my old bubble who I never thought I would see again and found out that some of my other friends weren’t too far away. It was a huge pick me up and was the cherry on top of a great day. The good vibes continued into today when I met an older man in line at dunkin donuts who ended up giving me a much needed ride back to the trail (it was a very hard place to hitch from).

So the past two days have been great and I’m looking forward to the rest of the whites. Would write more, but I’m falling asleep. More later.

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