In contrast to the breakfast burritos previous days, today's breakfast at White Mountains was French toast, and it was amazing.
As Rainbow and I were about to leave for the Carlo Col trailhead, and I was discussing trailhead options with the owner of the hostel, I found out that there was already a shuttle going to Carlo Col. Rather than driving my car out there (and Rainbow driving back), I opted to join the shuttle. It cost a little extra, but I felt it was worth it.
That pushed my departure to just after 9. It would be a late day, though fortunately, I was only hiking ten miles. (Which itself was irritating in that I was doing five miles of side trails to hike five miles of the AT. Not very efficient, but it was really the only option.)
We (the hostel's driver and I) picked up Rick at White Birches, and after a detour at Walmart (where I did a tiny resupply so that I could get extra cash back; I planned to do a larger resupply tonight after today's hike), we arrived at the trailhead at 10:15. (The driver was much faster over the dirt road than I ever would have been; he was so fast I couldn't even write a blog post because the car was bouncing around so much.)
Rick was going north on the AT, doing the section I did yesterday. We talked for most of the hike up the Carlo Col trail until we reached the AT, where we went our separate ways.
The stream crossing where the Carlo Col trail entered the woods that was overflowing yesterday was much lower and calmer today, making for an easy crossing. In general, everything was dryer. Even so, it was still a slow hike.
Once on the AT, the trail continued its theme of annoying rock climbs, but it was nothing compared to either the Whites or the Mahoosuc Notch. On one of the climbs, I skinned my elbow and banged my leg when my foot slipped on a rock while I was planning a route. (It wasn't too bad; I wasn't expecting the rock to be as slippery as it was, so I wasn't prepared to support all my weight with my arms, but I did at least manage to slow my fall a bit.)
I also made my final state border crossing (New Hampshire - Maine). Apart from those two things, today wasn't a particularly memorable hike on the trail. (Though, it was also only five miles of AT.)
I took a break about halfway, at the summit of Mt. Success, where there was a great view. (Because what mountain doesn't have a great view from its summit?)
At the top of Mt. Success, I gave Rainbow am ETA of 5-5:30, and wound up making better time than I expected, making it to the pickup point before 4:45, and making it off the dirt road and out to the road intersection by 5. Rainbow picked me up shortly after.
The last part of my hike retraced my steps from a week and a half ago along the Austin Brook Trail. The nicer weather made for a more colorful picture of the pond there.
After cleaning up a little, Rainbow and I went for one last dinner at Mr. Pizza, and then I took off for Pine Ellis Lodging in Andover, the next trail town, and where I can continue to slackpack from, only with them doing the driving.
When I got to Pine Ellis, I realized I'd forgotten to stop by Walmart in Gorham for resupply, though that could wait until later since there wasn't anything I needed to continue slackpacking, at least for now.
I was also in a fair bit of pain, and hobbling a bit, my leg being quite angry that I had bumped it on a rock. As a result, I'll be zeroing tomorrow to let my leg calm down.
I was also wearing my "one by one, the Penguins steal my sanity" t-shirt I've had for years, one of the random t-shirts I grabbed when I picked my car up. While I rarely get comments on it at home, no less than three people thought it was the funniest thing ever and had to take pictures of it. shrugs. Whatever makes people happy, I guess...