Gordon Pond to Ore Hill Campground – 20 miles
I keep hearing that my world will be different after crossing Mt. Moosilauke at Mile 400. Probably a dozen people told me that south of the mountain, the trail becomes “a walk in the woods,” which sounds good to me.
They told me southbounders get “dessert first” because the more scenic part is up north, but I’m ready for the meat and potatoes. Maine and New Hampshire were slow progress and I look forward to the “AT highway” down south, where I can open up and actually walk with a cruising stride.
In the morning, before I climbed the mountain, many northbounders warned me about roots, rocks, and mud on the trail. It was nothing out of the ordinary compared to the trail north of there, so it must have been a change for them if it was notable enough to comment on.
In the afternoon, south of the mountain, I came across a pair of hikers who were trying to “yellow blaze” – hitchhike, referring to the yellow stripes on the road – around Mt. Moosilauke because it “seems hard.” I wanted to tell them it was no harder than anything that came after, but I let them hike their own hike.
As promised, the trail became wide and flat right around mile 400. For the first time all trip I arrived at my destination ahead of schedule.