I left for the trail again after talking to mom, Chris, and Caroline. It was good to hear their voices and talk to them before beginning such a hard portion of the trail. I started hiking with Stick and Flying Turtle. Stick thru-hiked last year and came to support Turtle as he finished last year’s hike. Turtle was forced off the trail with a busted kneecap and a mild case of Lyme disease after hiking 1600 miles. I hiked faster than both of them uphill, but they both hiked faster than me downhill. We leapfrogged on the trail all day. We saw many families and section hikers today. I was nearly bitten by a black lab that apparently didn’t like me very much. Tomorrow I’ll hike 13 miles, the first 6 of which will be directly uphill. I’ll be in Rangeley, ME in two days for a town barbeque and another day off.