Traversed the Whites

As I write this I am seventeen miles south of the Maine border. I’m resting at The Libby House Barn and BnB in Gorham, NH. The Whites whooped my ass. I haven’t felt this wrecked since my first few backpacking trips, some six years ago. Part of me just wants to take another zero tomorrow, but the other part is aware that I don’t sleep well in bunk rooms.

Jelly is 48 miles away, pitched in a downpour, and I would do just about anything to be out there with her right now. If I leave now, carry no food, and run across the wet rocks, I might reach her in thirty six hours? These are the thoughts you start to have sometimes.

Also, Sage is here. If I zero tomorrow he’ll be seventeen miles away. With less than 300 miles to Katahdin now, I might never see him again. The dude’s fast and I’d like to keep up as long as I can. It would be fun to finish this leg of the hike together.

It’s odd to be a flip flopper. Everyone I know out here will be going home at the same time I flip south. It’s another 1025 miles for me, and the end of the hike for them. The mentalities are vastly different. Many NoBos are completely burnt out. They’re finishing just to finish at this point. I’ve been avoiding them like the plague.

Attitude is everything out here, and the negativity can spread fast. That’s why I like hiking with upbeat people like Sage, and more recently Cedar, a PCT 2600 miler. Cedar is a complete badass, and understands both the realities of post-hike life, and the pitfalls of making long distance hiking a life style.

“For all I know, long distance backpacking is the only thing that keeps me from going crazy.”

I sympathize with her words. I feel exactly the same way. She’s planted as many deep seeds of thought as she has taught me basic things. Things like, if butter is freely offered as a condiment, it goes on everything. Stealth in the Whites, and always buy the most calories for your dollar. We’re similar hikers, with similar paces. We both love to push ourselves. She made it through the Whites without a sleeping bag, stealthing the whole way. Her balls are made of solid iron.

A photo post will follow. My neglect of this blog is proportional to my presence in the trail experience itself. The Whites demanded one hundred percent of that presence.

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