I slept so well last night in my tent on a tent platform, and the dry wood outside the tent made it so easy to stage sacks for packing. Wrong Leg and Half Moon had very noisily set up their tent late last night on a nearby platform. Tandem was tired and slept in, leaving no time to make coffee. I had a pop tart, granola bar, and a pair of French Vanilla Carnation Breakfast Essentials. We had some mountains to climb today.
We left the campsite at the Gentian Pond Shelter at 8:15. About a mile after getting back on the AT, we passed mile 1,900, leaving only 285 miles to go!
We climbed 1,500 feet up Mount Success. On the way up, Wrong Leg and Half Moon came running by us southbound without their packs. Half Moon had forgotten her glasses hanging on a tree by their tent.
Shortly after cresting and descending off of Mount Success, we crossed the ME state line at mile 1,903.5! We stopped for pictures, and Bacon Dog joined us in the mini celebration of our thirteenth and final state.
We left Bacon Dog as we hiked on toward the three Goose Eye peaks. The hardest climb was up Goose Eye West, and there were groups of girls hiking and yelling excitedly at the top of each Goose Eye mountain. We finally reached Goose Eye North and left the noisy girls. At Full Goose Shelter, we found a group of older teens being taught map and compass. We ate lunch, and I drew filtered water to share with a tired Tandem.
It was 15:00 when we left the shelter to well wishes from the teens and headed toward the Mahoosuc Notch, known as the hardest/most fun mile on the AT since hikers have to make their way through a 1.2 mile jumbled pit of boulders. We agreed to camp shortly past that at the Bull Branch Campsite.
We reached Mahoosuc Notch at 16:00 and it took us ninety minutes to travel the 1.2 rocky miles. I had to remove my pack four times to get through tight, rocky holes under large boulders.
The temperature swings in the notch were incredible. Toward the top there was ice in the water deep in holes by the boulders, and it was really cold. Periodically a warm breeze would blow up, and it was warm at the end of the notch. There were always white arrows pointing you through the narrow hole you had to squeeze through, and Tandem had fun leading us through the maze of infrequent white blazes and dual routes.
We finished another 12.2 mile day in the Bull Branch Campsite, cooking dinner and chatting with Owl and Vegemite. Like last night, after everyone was asleep, Wrong Leg and Half Moon came in late at 21:00 looking for the campsite. This time Bacon Dog was with them. I led them in with my headlamp.
Tomorrow evening we may get into Andover, ME, for a pre-birthday beer for me.