I did not do much of anything today, and yet I am feeling drained of energy. I suspect/hope it is only dehydration – my digestive system has not been very happy yesterday or today, and the day before yesterday, I did not drink nearly enough. I am working on remedying the situation.
Today I moved from the Hiker barn to the White Mountain Hostel. Stairs again, but they kindly juggled the sleeping arrangements so I have a bed instead of a top bunk. THEY HAVE A TUB. I was in nirvana, soaking in a hot Epsom-salted bath until the water cooled. I have not had a good soak in a tub in almost four months. Bliss.
I have decided I will stay until Wednesday morning, and then return to the trail at the point I left it. I still have Mt. Madison to climb, and when I make the long descent down to Pinkham Notch, I will be officially finished with the Presidential Range. Oddly enough, the way the trail curves, I will be back at this hostel on Monday; it is right on the trail, 24 trail miles from where I rejoin the AT. Since I am triple zeroing now though, I will not zero again next week.
Between now and then, I finish the Presidentials, and climb five-peaked Wildcat Mountain. Unoriginally, though, the peaks are simply named Wildcat A-E. The climb up Wildcat E is the second steepest on the trail, second only to Katadyn itself. But – and this is a very strong possibility, I have to admit – there is a gondola that goes from Pinkham Notch to the top of Wildcat D, bypassing 3 miles of trail that includes the dangerously steep portion. I will see how my knees are feeling and what the weather is like.
It feels very good to simply rest. I really hope that I am just dehydrated and will feel better tomorrow; tomorrow I will visit the post office and pick up maildrops.