I got up early, had a snack instead of cooking breakfast, and hit the trail by 7:15 in order to get to the road in time to catch commuters for my hitch. It was only 3.4 miles and I made it to Lake Durant State Campground by 8:20.
Only a dozen cars passed in the first half hour and they all gave me wide berth. It was 8 miles to the town of Indian Lake but I started walking just in case. The plan was for Corrie to meet me at the campground tonight but if I could hitch to my car and move it up to Lake Placid, she could pick me up there and we wouldn’t have to do a lot of driving at the end of the hike to pick my car up. So I had all day.
After walking about a mile and being passed by another half dozen cars, Mike from Connecticut picked me up on his way home from a conference. He could get me to town although he was then going a different direction than I needed. He pulled into the gas station there and I walked around the corner to continue hitching on Route 30 South.
After about 30 seconds, a nice older couple pulled over who just happened to be out for a drive to Northville, exactly where I was going. Patty and Chuck took me the whole way and we had a great conversation during the drive.
Once back at my car, I called Corrie to update her. Then I started drying my things. I put my shoes under the passenger foot heater, spread my tent out in the backseat, blasted the heat, and kept the windows half down as I started driving north. First stop: McDonald’s. I just love that place when hiking.
Next stop: The Mountaineer in Keene. I needed a new bite valve for my hydration bladder since a mouse chewed on mine in the lean-to last night. I also grabbed new lithium batteries to keep as spares since I just replaced the ones in my headlamp.
Finally: the Lake Placid trailhead. I repacked my stuff there and waited for Corrie and her mom, Joan, to arrive. We did some juggling of bags and then took off back for Lake Durant.
I’d already reserved a campsite (although I later found out hikers can walk in and use showers for much cheaper) but we decided that since it would get below freezing tonight, maybe it would be better to organize at a motel. Finding one was a little complicated since Joan had her dog along but we finally found a pet room at the Motel Long Lake. They were very nice as well.
I took my long awaited shower right away (6 days!) and then we decided to grab pizza to eat in the room. It took a little bit to repack Corrie’s pack and then we went to bed early.