Monday, October 4, 2021
Start: Coleman State Park Campground
End: Baldhead lean-to
Elevation gain/loss: 4925’/4173′
Mountains climbed: Tumble Dick Mountain, Mud Pond Ridge, Sanguinary Mountain, Table Rock, and Baldhead Mountain
I tossed and turned starting around 3-4am, but stayed in the lusciously soft bed until 6am. I didn’t want to start until dawn light had started to show. I started out from the campground at 6:35am. The trail today was almost exclusively in the woods, which helped my mood and made it feel more like a thru-hike. It didn’t actively rain today, though everything was damp and wet and I didn’t see anything but cloudy skies.
At the trailhead for Dixville Notch, I chatted with an older white woman for a few minutes. She’s from California and has been enjoying all of the rain and cloudy skies here, even if it makes the trails more challenging. She’d started hiking towards Table Rock from there but decided to turn back and go up the shorter and more popular trail. As it turned out, I met her again, just as I was passing by Table Rock. It was nice to see a familiar face.
I arrived at the Baldhead lean-to around 3:45pm and struggled to stop moving. There were 2 people resting in the shelter who headed out shortly after I got there. They’re doing a small SOBO section and just started today from Dixville Notch, so their legs are much more fresh than mine. It was hard not to just mindlessly push on, forcing myself to figure it out. But it’s chilly and wet, and I really didn’t want to tent in that weather, particularly when it would be stealth camping. The next shelter is 11 miles away and I’d be pushing into the night to get there. It would also be somewhat pointless, as I have a reservation for Percy Rd Lodge tomorrow so I can’t push past that anyway. I’ll have the option to push further the day after tomorrow, once I get into the White Mountains via the Kilkenny Ridge trail.
Around 5:45pm, Powerline arrived and we chatted while he ate dinner and set up his bedroll. We compared experiences so far. It was very nice to have company up in the northern country.