Woke up to another cool morning. Once again didn't get out of camp as early as I had hoped, but made it out around 7am. Had a great day of hiking. As tired as I was, I was able to go strong all day.
Had lunch at Little Rock Pond which is a great shelter and pond. It was a little cool while I was there, and I didn't even really want to swim. A few miles away from the shelter, and I wished I was back there! Oh well. There will be more places to swim.
Crossed a side trail for White Rocks Cliff. Near there were a bunch of rock formations people had made. I added to it by putting a rock between 2 trees. Pretty cool looking. Definitely not normal to see something like that.
Finally ran into my first NoBo since I for on the trail on Wednesday. Crazy how long it took. Scrabble was completing from CT to ME this year. We made it down to VT 140 and I said I wished there was beer floating in the creek as trail magic. Scrabble surprised me as he put two Guinness cans in the creek! He had been carrying them and didn't want to carry them up the next hill. We let them chill for a little while, then enjoyed them. Had a big climb after it which I blew through. Maybe the beer helped?
I had been seeing Dame Quixote's name in the logs for today, and finally caught up to her. I had been moving quickly today for some reason even though I was sore yesterday night after hiking 21 miles. I knew I'd catch her eventually! Actually caught her and Still Debating around the same time.
Made it to Minerva shelter that I had planned to stay at, but it was only around 3pm, so I figured I'd move on I the next shelter. There were a bunch of Southbounders (SoBo's) there that gave me pointers about places to go up north. Also met Sanhican for the first time. Somehow he already heard the story of how I got my name, so he told it to the SoBos. I left the shelter and Sanhican came with. I was pushing hard, and the older, talkative dude still kept up! We ran into a SoBo who recommended the cafe at the next road. Said they had good burgers, fries, cole slaw, and shakes. We decided to go and asked Dame if she wanted to come too. Got a quick hitch the 0.3 miles there. Turns out after 4pm, it turns into a different restaurant. A pizzeria that has none of the same food! Oh well. We "settled" for some food there anyway. I had a big chicken parmesan for $6. Pretty good. Really filling too. Dame impresses me. Now you have to understand that Dame is a tiny lady, from Chicago (pointless for me to add that), and maybe in her 50s. So she orders a calzone that takes up more space than is on her plate. She put the whole thing down! Very impressive!
We hiked the 0.3 back to the trail, and hiked 1 mile up to the shelter. We went through Clarendon Gorge, which was fun. Made me work, but it was a lot of fun.
If I hadn't had stopped for a bite to eat, I probably would have moved on, because my body feels like I could have. That would have made it a 28 mile day. Instead I'm happy with the 23.3, and maybe it's best, as Killington Mtn comes tomorrow! Pumped to be where I have snowboarded. Sounds like thru hikers can take the gondola to the base lodge for free.
What is it lately with day hikers telling me that I "look good" and "look spry" for an Appalachian trail hiker? Not sure if they expect us to look in worse shape, or possibly have a cloud around me like Linus.