Day 101 – Goddard Shelter

21.6 miles, 57,861 steps, 570 stories climbed

1629.9/568.1 miles/left, 4,236,597 steps, 36,569 stories climbed
Trail Magic Moments: 44
Today looked like it was going to be a terrible day.  Until around noon or so the sky was just a dark grey blob that looked like it was about to rain havoc on the trail.  It never did though and eventually, the sun broke through the clouds and the day became really nice.
The trail was a muddy mess for the most part, near the end of the day things started to dry out a bit but I’m definitely glad I have waterproof high top boots.
About 8 miles in to the trail today, there wash.  M a very steep and rocky descent, which was currently very slippery, I only fell once though.  When I got to the bottom there is a clearing and then a road and absolutely no blazes telling you where to go.
I’m looking all over the place for a white blaze, not wanting to make another wrong turn (since earlier I made one…hmmm there is a path straight and a single white blaze…no double blaze to denote a turn, how was I supposed to know I was supposed to turn right…judging by the boot prints in the mud I wasn’t the only one to make that mistake) when I see a woman walking over to me and waving.
She asks me if I’m a thru-hiker and as soon as I say yes she gives me a gift card for Dunkin Donuts.  We talk only briefly because she was in a rush and she was talking about how steep the trail is (she’s from the west coast where they use switchbacks).  We say goodbye and I start walking on and I see her start running to her car as I’m heading in to the trail.  I assume she’s simply later than she thought but she runs me down and gives me a bunch of food some other hiker had given to her, instant rice and potatoes, sweet, free food.
The bad thing is, the rest of the day was nothing but uphill and now I had more food to carry.  So, I climbed and climbed and climbed.
Now, as I am coming down the home stretch here, with only about a quarter of the trail left, I am noticing two different thought patterns developing.  Half of me is trying to get big mileage to finish as quickly as possible to get home, be with Maria and get everything ready for the trip to South America.  The other part of me just wants to slow down, do less miles and relax and enjoy this.  I had planned on going to the next shelter today, another 4.2 miles but when I got to this one I was just like “eh, if I stop now I’ll have more time to read and relax and eat” and so that’s what I ended up doing.
So, with the extra time and food, I stuffed my face more than I have outside of town with three dinners and half a block of cheese with crackers to go with a few handfuls of M&Ms.

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