All good plans eventually go to hell, and my haphazard planning of this trip is a perfect example. I had originally planned on moving ~80ish miles in 6 days, through the White Mountains and the Mahoosucs, which isn’t outrageous for the thru-hiker with ~1800 miles underfoot already, but myself, not being used to carrying a pack found that day 3 was going to be unlike the previous 2, riddled with soreness, and desperately wanting to enjoy my hike (hike your own hike!). So i started off with Kites and Cakes having enjoyed their company for the past day and night, it seemed like a good idea.
We ran into blueberries:
and were elated, but the terrain was tough, it was very hot outside, and we were moving rather sluggishly (I had just finished a 20 mile day! and them ~12 after a zero!) In spite of the weather, we continued onward, eventually finding ourselves at the Maine/NH State line
The excitement of reaching the northernmost state on our collective trek however did not triumph the collective soreness, and struggles with the outrageous heat, so we made it to Carlo Col shelter in the early afternoon to refill our water from the source there, and collect ourselves to move onward.
After eating lunch, and finally packing up our bags, we began hiking back to the AT, after climbing the hill, realizing that no one really wanted to continue hiking, we decided that if the girls from the previous night were to roll into camp this very moment (this being their intended destination) we should just turn around, and hang out with them for the night… and with that in mind, the girls nowhere in sight, we decided that it would be best to shelter there, and not push ourselves into a grumpy hike.
It was at this point that I decided to cut my trip short, rather than continuing for the 80ish miles I required to get to my destination, which would require me to continue hiking ~15 miles a day through rocky unforgiving terrain, I arranged for a ride to pick me up at the 52 mile mark, making my next few days much easier, and allowing me to “hike my own hike.”
So, we made camp, ate, and started waiting for the girls to arrive, and after hearing from a NorthBounder that they weren’t too far away, but seemed low in spirit, the three of us decided to spread some cheer, and wait for them at the bridge leading to the shelter so that we could congratulate the girls on completing their day, and hopefully brighten the mood, so we high-fived them all as they crossed the bridge, which seemed to make quite a difference to these kids, hey you have to do what you have to do. You can see a video of it here as well as Kites and cakes view of the day.