Day 3: Mud, rocks, and roots

Rainbow Lake to Wadleigh Shelter – 15 miles

Over the past few days I’ve had several pangs of worry over the idea of hiking alone after my dad leaves on the 28th. At times I think I’ve made a big mistake deciding to do this by myself. But I know that because traveling alone makes me so nervous, it must be exactly the kind of growth I need.

Other than Jonny Sunshine, a happy-go-lucky guy we’ve been camping with for 3 days, Dad and I have not met any other southbound hikers. I knew ahead of time that going to Girl Scout camp would delay my start date about two weeks behind the main herd. I want to catch up so I find some companions. There three small interactions today that gave me hope.

First, we had lunch with a northbound hiker who told us there is a substantial group of SOBOs about a week ahead. They are still getting their trail legs, so I should be able to catch them if I keep my miles steady.

Then, I met a flip-flopper gal named Ready who will be heading my direction south of Rangely, Maine. She seems like the type of person I would want to hike with and her existence doubles the number of SOBOs I know.

A seventy-something year old NOBO stopped to chat and told me, “The northern part of the AT is all mud, rocks, and roots. South of Hanover, New Hampshire, it’s a walk in the woods. The trail will kick you and then it will kick you again. Keep your head in the game.” Thanks, Southern Gardener, that’s exactly what I needed to hear.

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