AT Day 104 – Hiking outside the bubble 

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Hiking Outside the Bubble

28th July

23 miles

Bushcamp (1752.9) to Bushcamp (1775.9)

It rained overnight, or was it a dream. I slept so well I couldn’t be sure but my tent was wet. Whatever rain fell had disappeared, all I could see was blue sky then fog then blue sky again. I was on trail early.

I was sluggish today. The constant ups and downs weakened my leg muscles which in turn slowed my pace. I also found myself wanting to take lots of extended rest breaks.

The trail was mixed forests, fields and mountain ridges. The views from the mountain ridges were a bit sketchy. I stood on one lookout only to find out that it looked like it could crumble and I could fall into an unknown abyss. Grass and tree roots hiding the sheer drop. I payed much more attention to lookouts after that.
mountain streamappalachian trail
There were little in the way of other hikers on trail. I’m definitely hiking outside a bubble at the moment. I passed one hiker early, he passed me later, I passed him and so it went all day. Other than that there were maybe 2 day hikers and a trail runner.

It makes me happy to see that most of us hikers are all now hiking at a similar speed and distance each day. My mileage is similar today to what it was after the first week or two on trail. At that time I was passing hundreds of people, now not so many. Proof that if you stick at it the body will eventually get used to its new job of carrying the hiker for 15-25 miles per day every day.

As evening approached I settled on a slightly sloping campsite next to a stream. The tea coloured water tasted sweet and fresh. I gave myself a small sponge bath in the stream to wash off the layer of dirt and salt encrusted sweat. My dirty socks were also washed, I’ll hang them in my outside pocket tomorrow to dry.

appalachian trail

You might be interested in:

The Complete Pacific Great Trail Guide
The Complete Continental Divide Trail Guide
The Complete Appalachian Trail Guide
Lightweight Hiking Gear List

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  1. Hi Brad. I’ve follow and enjoyed reading your blog on the PCT, CDT, Mexico/Guatemala and now the AT. We are flying back from our home near San Francisco to our second home in Lincoln NH on Thursday, August 3. ( Lincoln is just south, before you cross 93 to climbing the Franconia Range. ) If you’re interested we’d love to take you out for a BIG dinner in Lincoln, or you’re welcome to stay at our 3 bedroom place ( in Lincoln), which overlooks the very best swimming hole in the whole White Mountains…. on the Pemigewasset River. We’d be happy to help you out in any manner, if the timing works. Last summer, we helped out an AT hiker, B-Hiker, who was looking for a ride into town from the Flume and thoroughly enjoyed that!
    Wishing you our best!
    Kathy and Peter
    [email protected]

    1. Hi Kathy and Peter, thank you for the kind offer. My blog is a bit behind at the moment, I’m already past Lincoln and will be in Gorham either on the 3rd or 4th. You certainly live in an amazing part of the world, the Whites have exceeded all expectations. If you would like to meet up in Gorham area let me know. Once again, thank you.

      1. Hi again, I’m so happy that you’re enjoying the White Mountains! I grew up in Lincoln, climbed many of the Franconia Range and Presidentials when I was a teenager. I think ALL of the Whites are magical…the mountains, rocks, views, trees, mosses, streams and rivers are all magical to me! The Sierra’s are amazing too, but the Whites captured my heart!
        We’ll be flying east, all day Thursday August 3rd. I don’t know whether we’ll be able to get up to Gorham on Friday, August 4. If you’re going to happen to be in Gorham Friday, give us a text and maybe we can treat you to lunch or dinner. If not…I’m so happy that you’re enjoying the magic of that part of New Hampshire! I’ve really enjoyed following your many hikes and travels!
        text: 510-816-3509 We have ATT coverage on our phones which is not good reception in those mountains…spotty!

      2. Yes the Whites are amazing but exhausting. I’m taking a rest in Gorham. I’ll send you a quick text late today. Cheers Shepherd

      3. Hi Shepard, We just landed in Manchester and are headed north to Lincoln. If you’d like more time to rest before you start Maine, you’re welcome to stay with us for however long might be helpful. We can come and pick you up in Gorham. And if you keep going on to Maine tomorrow… wishing you well! Kathy and Peter

  2. “Proof that if you stick at it the body will eventually get used to its new job of carrying the hiker for 15-25 miles per day every day.”
    Or proof that all those, who do not hike at least 15 miles a day, are now far behind you (or quit).

    1. The body certainly is amazing, 15 miles per day is definitely enough to complete this trail, just got to keep moving.

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