We left Richard and Leslie’s house last night to start on our way back to the trail, stopping at the trailhead near Woodstock, VT, for the night to camp and do trail magic for Jungle Jym, Coon, and Slick. This morning we headed back to Manchester Center to pick up Stretch and Little Bear and start slacking. We got a late start but still did 17.6 miles, although the last few were in the dark.

It was cloudy and threatening rain most of the day but it ended up staying dry. I didn’t have a problem with my foot at all. Actually my foot feels fine, and the rest of my legs are kind of sore from the way I have to walk with this hospital shoe on. Especially in the uphills, my foot gets stuck flexed since I can’t rotate it through all the way and push off the front of my foot so my ankle gets stiff. And my knees are sore tonight too, but that could be because I haven’t hiked this much in a week. On the plus side, my shoulder didn’t hurt at all today, and that’s just been getting progressively worse as the hike goes on.

There was only one area of the trail today that had me nervous with my shoe, and that was a rock scramble on Baker Peak. The traction on my boot held though and I just took it very slowly. I had to have Little Bear call his dog Riner back at one point because he kept stepping on my heels while I was trying to climb slowly. Hiking with Riner again, I am being herded all day long. As a German Shepherd, he doesn’t like when his people get spread out too far on the trail so he spends his time running back and forth checking on everyone, and stopping in front of the lead hiker to try to make them slow down and wait.

I have a new pack that I’m testing again so I am using that now, although not with a full gear load since we’re slacking. A new pack always has different amounts of padding in different areas from the old pack though, so it’s nice to get used to this one without a full weight load, to avoid bruising in any areas with more padding.

Greg and Matt were waiting for us when we got to the parking lot on the road to Danby with BLTs and beers. We hung out for a little while and then passed out. Long day.

Stretch saw a moose today, but I was ahead of her and missed it. I am hopeful I’ll see one soon now!

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Written by Siren

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