Woke up today to rain. It had rained all through the night, which is just fine by me. We haven't had rain in a while, so getting it was good for many reasons, one being that the streams should now have water in them for us to drink.
Waited the rain out a little, as it seemed like it was dying down. Rolled out of the shelter around 8am with Dame and Repack. About a mile north we came to The Ice Cream Man, an older gentleman who gives ice cream sandwiches to thru hikers for free. Bill was home and we got to meet and talk to him. He was approaching 400 hikers for the year so far. Enjoyed the ice cream, filled up water from the hose, and moved on. I pushed ahead of the others and it was a long, tough climb up Smarts Mtn. The elevation put us at 3,800 feet, which is still a few thousand shy of what is yet to come for the rest of the journey! Being our first big climb in a while, it wore me out! I better get into a rhythm with these bigger mountains if I'm going to make it through before the end of the year. Haha. After that, had Cube Mtn which didn't seem as bad, but still had to work at it.
Ended up doing 18.5 miles. Still good even though I've been aiming for 20's. My goal is to aim for 20's until the mountains push back and my body tells me not to push harder. Plus, I'm really looking forward to enjoying the Whites and Maine, so no reason to rush through them. I'll just blame not getting at least 20 miles on the rain leading me to getting a later start, and spending time making a few phone calls.
Came to a gravel road along the trail that I'd read about in my book. The book stated that there is an independent community called the Dancing Bones about a mile up the road. Turns out it was closer to 1.5 miles. Anyway, I decided to go, because it sounded interesting. And that it was! There are about 9 people who live on the property. There is a small community building with a kitchen, shower, outdoor showers, and a composting toilet. This is where the residents can come use these items. Very few have showers of their own in their cabins. The group is made of people who want to live low key and have a small impact on the environment. They also have some sort of dance event on Saturdays. No idea what that's all about. It's sorta strange on one hand, but the thought behind it is cool on the other. I just think that some interesting people gravitate towards places like these. However, the few people we met were nice and even gave us some fresh produce. The hot outdoor showers were great! And once again I found myself washing dishes as a means of "working" for my stay.
7 miles into Glencliff tomorrow where I pick up my 30 degree sleeping bag, new shoes, and camera for the rest of the trip. Leaving Glencliff we have our first BIG climb, which marks the start of the White Mtns. Gonna be tough, but awesome!