Location: Lost Pond
I’m feeling pretty down. I have stopped for a long lunch at Little Rock Pond shelter. I am not tired from yesterday’s 20+ miles, but my left knee is killing me. I’m on the edge of tears because of the physical and emotional pain. The knee hurts like crazy, but every time I try to push myself on this trail something holds me back. I only hiked 5 miles this morning. Although I got up late, I still haven’t managed to keep a speed similar to yesterday’s pace. I will try to find a couple of knee braces at the next town I get to. I had planned on knee braces a long time ago, but I never got around to getting them as my knees became stronger. I plan to hike another 6 miles today after a hot lunch. I’m eating creamy chicken Ramen. This will be the first time that I have eaten ramen since I ate an uncooked brick of the noodles a few days into the 100 mile wilderness. Hopefully I’ll feel better this afternoon.
I’m feeling much better after the walk this afternoon. My knee hardly bothered me at all. The terrain laid flat for several miles. I wish that I had not taken so long a break at the shelter this afternoon because it prevented me from hiking ten miles after lunch. I felt so good when I reached the six mile shelter, I thought about eating and pushing on. I was told however that the next shelter is a pay site and there are no tent sites between here and there. I have no cash to pay the five dollar fee.
Tomorrow I’ll hike a day in the high teens. I’ll try to wake up early and get moving. I need a couple days of food to get to North Adams, Massachusetts. I’ll hitch a ride into Manchester Center and then I will hitch back out tomorrow. I don’t need much, but I do need food. I ate some of my rations while in the field across from the Inn at Long Trail. Hopefully my knee won’t hurt one bit in the morning.
More on today. . . I had one funny experience. Actually, it was two funny experiences that happened at the same time. While making my way through Clarendon Gorge, I came to a swing bridge. It wasn’t rope but cable. A sign from the USFS warned that the weight limit for the bridge was one person. That face made me uncomfortable. People weigh all different amounts, and I wondered what one flaw in the design or one busted bold might do to the capacity. The bridge bobbed up and down as I took my first few steps onto the wood planks. I was looking down at the brown brook 30ft below me, when I heard the clapping of someone else’s footsteps. I looked ahead immediately and saw a young boy marching towards me on the bridge. Quickly I turned and hurried to my original side, thinking every step that I was about to live the swinging bridge scene from Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.
The boy’s young parents then came across the bridge, one by one. The young boy had charged ahead of them on the trail. When they both had crossed the bridge, the father asked if I was hiking the whole trail. I said that I was. He told his son that he knew that they would be lucky today and see a thru-hiker. After explaining to the father that I wasn’t starting late in the season (nearly everyone asks why I didn’t start when most northbounders start), I began answering the questions asked by his wife. As typical of most people, she wanted to know about food, towns, bears, miles, length of time, et cetera. While I talked to her, the father, unnoticed by me, had moved to my side. He snapped a candid shot of me and his family. I turned when I heard the film cartridge spool grind. Then, he took another as I posed with his family. He never asked to take the picture. I hope I end up on a mantle somewhere.