Back at the Appalachian Trail – Day 12

Up and on the trail at 6:00 am. I hadn't walked 50 feet before I tripped on a rock and fell. Surviving the AT requires constant vigilance. The AT dropped down a little then climbed for 1.4 miles to the flat summit of Mt Moriah. Going seemed slow, although I didn't gain much elevation. From the peak to he AT dropped steeply then moderated then dropped steeply again to the Rattle River. Today I walked on planks thru lots of small wetlands. The planks keep the trail from turning into a mud pit. In 1.6 miles after crossing the river I reached the Rattle River shelter, a small, dingy structure right on the trail. I sat for a minute for a water and snack break and heard a guy tell a day hiker about a video he's making about the AT. Then down for two easy miles to US Hwy 2. I walked 100 yards west to the White Mountains hostel and picked up my food box. I repacked my food bag and ate a pint of ice cream and a Hershey bar for lunch then called Betsy. I felt ok, thus decided to continue hiking for seven more miles to the Trident Col campsite. I walked along a road and crossed the Androscoggin River as two canoes set forth (see photo). I headed uphill toward Mt Hayes on an easy trail thru beech-maple forest. The trail soon steepened and a rain shower rolled in. I was extra careful on the wet rocks. But I fell in a patch of mud and got dirty. The 2.2-mile climb to Cascade Mountain seemed to take forever. From the top, I dropped down steeply to the turnoff to the campsite. In 0.2 mile, I found the campsite and a level spot for my tent. I set up quickly in case the rain returned, then cooked dinner. Today was hard as usual, but I hiked 15.9 miles in 10.5 hours. My confidence that I can average at least 12 miles per day increased a notch.

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