June 26 (super eventful day): a nice early start of 6:20am and made the normal breakfast of oatmeal and raisins with a side of bagel (tossed some nutella for some added flavor). As I headed to work down the trail, I saw that the 3 high schoolers setup their tent. Phew! So I continued on to my work of completing the rest of the posts. One of the kids strolled on over to the bathroom. I intersected him and he proceeded to inform me that they got back at 11:45pm after hiking to the Bonds (first peak is 7 hour road trip hike) and getting wetter than they hoped on the river crossings. From the look of him (this is part of my job, sizing up the campers and hikers), he was somewhat inexperienced. The absence of hiking boots and the mention of using flashlights at night were red flags. I went on with my work until John (backcountry wilderness ranger for those who are just tuning in and my supervisor) stopped by to start his patrol from the campsite. We briefly spoke and got back to our responsibilities. I radioed in to John to check what time he was gonna be back at the campsite. He responded with 1-1:30. It was 10:30 at the time so we decided that I should run now so we can cross paths again. I changed up and started biking down the roughly 3 miles to the parking lot of Lincoln Woods. Less than a mile down, I stopped dead in my tracks over this blind hill. Slammed on both breaks. A BLACK BEAR IN THE MIDDLE OF THE TRAIL! Luckily, the chain/lock on my handlebars rattled and the bear snuck back into the woods. My heart was beating pretty fast and I was hesitate to continue biking down, but I did because I wanted to run. The risks I take to get a run in. I reported it to Jim, one of the US Forest Service employees, and meet some cool volunteers at the same time. Went for my run and checked out the Franconia Brook Trail. It had one serious stream crossing, but other than that it was more runner-friendly trail. Once I got back from my run, I once again took a rinsed in the "Ranger Pool." This time I was ready and the air was a bit warmer. I stayed in the water a little longer this time and actually washed off some of the dirt. I changed up back into my uniform (picture to follow in a couple weeks when my mom, sister, and Kimber come up) and ate lunch with Jim and John at my picnic table. Jim helped rig up my mosquito netting behind the front flaps of my tent. It paid off that night to have a cross breeze coming through the tent. Jim told me John mentioned the quality work I've been doing already on the campsite. Sweet to hear! We saw some mountain bikers pass by us and Jim checked it out to make sure they weren't going past the gate into The Wilderness (no wheeled vehicles allowed, only foot travel). The mountain bikers' parents ventured into the campsite soon after asking if we saw kids pass by here. The kids ended up getting off their bikes and heading up the Pemi East Trail a little bit. A little hiccup, but everything worked itself out. Jim and John headed out and I got back to work. I greeted Matt and Nico at campsite #3. Nice guys. I think they were brothers, just a big age gap. Or son and dad? Not sure. Small talk about campsite etiquette and other stuff. Matt works for Comcast so he understood the requirement for the wearing of a hard hat while I use the hand tools. Continued to work on the posts and meet Jen (daughter) Keith (young grandfather) Jas (Jen's 2 year old son) and Tully (dog). Great bunch. Jen completed her first 4000 footer at the age of 6 and finished all 48 by 14 or something. Finished up all the main posts along the trail. Changed into some shorts and a t-shirt to rinse off dirt and Deet off the arms and neck before dinner. Talked to Matt (probably 25 years old or so and looks like he hits the gym regularly, he was pretty well built, no homo) on my way back from the stream. I mentioned the two guys (with not great teeth, but they weren't British, but definitely not from the US) saw earlier dragging their kayaks up the trail. I had asked where they were headed and the lead guy replied with "As far as we can go." Matt mentioned he saw them at Franconia Falls doing some major bottoming out. Idiots! Left them to their dinner while I went and made mine. It went semi smoothly except for the Jetboil not lighting right away and the Coleman stove acting up. No biggie. John discussed with me about where I should deposit my grey water so I trudged about 200 feet into the woods and dug a hole in the ground. I had chicken and cheese wraps for dinner. The problem is the chicken breast is in a can in water. Draining the water is sorta difficult because I don't want to drip any on the table. It could attract animals especially after seeing the bear earlier. I need to be EXTRA careful. Oh and the kayaker was going on some rant about people lathering up in the rivers and using biodegradable soap. He dropped some F bombs and said I need to make a fire. Sent him on his way. After dinner, I just winded down and read a little bit before falling asleep before 10. Biological clock is still off and my body isn't shutting down until 10 or 11. That will change soon enough.
Summary: Solid run today. 58:34, call it 8+. With the biking, make it 10 for the day and 73 for the week. Past three weeks have been over 70, so good so far. I am just concentrating on getting the minutes in and the mileage. The fitness level will get there. This upcoming week I will doing a longer run of at least 2 hours and strides on the other days. Getting mentally prepared for Monday. And Keith, one of the campers, puts on a rugged triathlon at Tully Lake, Mass. I said I might see him there. Teams are welcome too. It's a canoe, trail run, and mountain bike. He also works at the campground at Tully Lake so I might contact him about jobs in the fall!