We had a delicious all you can eat breakfast at the hostel this morning consisting of blueberry pancakes, biscuits and gravy, bacon, fruit, and more. Then we got back on the road to Grafton Notch. Whisper was there and we found out some other hikers were close by. Smiley and Lost took the truck, and I hiked out.

The first climb was over Baldpate Mountain. There were a ton of rock steps up, in addition to some steep slabs. It was a perfect fall day, sunny and warm, so being on the summit was amazing. I had to fight the urge to lay on the rock in the sun all day. Once I got back down the mountain, the remainder of my 10.3 mile day was fairly level and easy. Sometimes the amount of roots on the trail would prevent me from gaining any momentum but it wasn’t bad all the time.

When I got to Dunn Falls, I started debating going back to the Cabin at the next road. I knew Stretch and Little Bear would be trying to get there tonight and it would be good to catch up with them. I decided to leave it up to chance. If anyone was there or if I had a cell signal at the road, maybe I’d go back. If not, I’d find a place to camp. I ended up getting to the road at the same time as some day hikers and they offered me a ride to town, so that made my decision for me.

I also wanted a home cooked dinner since I missed it yesterday while I was driving around, but when I got to the Cabin, I found out they weren’t cooking tonight. There was an all you can eat pizza buffet at the restaurant in town so I eventually ended up there with Stretch and Little Bear and some other hikers.

We had a late night debating the logistics of the rest of the hike. The first thing I need to do is get another new pack. Mine felt great this morning but gradually got really uncomfortable throughout the day. When I placed it down at the hostel, I saw the frame was super bent up. I have no idea how it happened since that material shouldn’t bend at all. Osprey’s great guarantee will cover it but unfortunately I need to wait until Monday to call them, then another few days for a new pack to be shipped. In the meantime, I will probably rig up some foam to keep the metal frame off my lower back.

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Written by Siren

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