I caught myself smiling today as I hiked. I couldn’t help it. The day simply called for it. Everything was so nicely aligned – a few peaks to climb and descend, a gondola ride to look forward to, a chance to end the day with a hot shower and to sleep in a real bed. What more could anyone ask for?
Well, there was one thing more, and it came unheralded and unasked for. When Eric from the hostel came to pick me up, and we got our of the van, he said “Welcome home.”
He had no idea what those words came to mean to me, but it just felt so right. Done with the Franconia Ridge Mts, the Presidentials, the Carters, the Wildcats. Time to lay the pack down for the night and enjoy a feeling of accomplishment. Welcome home. Have a beer.
And the gondola ride is something to write about as well! I thought I would be scared, especially since a stiff breeze was making it sway some, but I loved it! It was only $7.50, took 13 minutes, and saved me from 3+ hours hiking down a very steep, wet, dangerous section that everyone, including other hikers I passed on the trail, was telling me not to do. So I did not do!
My pack is heavy all over again… I resupplied at Wal-Mart and am carrying a full five days of food again. I have passed out of the range of the AMC huts and their convenient food options – I am really going to miss them!
I hiked on.