July 31st: Woke up @ 6am. Got out of bed @ 6:30am. It sounded Iike my tent was being attacked by squirrels or something. Or they were attempting to jump and attach themselves on the side of one of my canvas walls. I hit up the bathroom first thing before making a monster breakfast. Since I was graced with extra packets of oatmeal from the people that left their food in the bearbox. I spoiled myself with4 instant packets of oatmeal. 2 packets of peaches and cream, 1 packet of maple + brown sugar and 1 packet of original flavor grits? Realized it after I poured it in with the rest. It looked like parmesan cheese. It wasn't bad. It just gave the oatmeal a slightly different texture, more grainy. After I cleaned my dishes, I noticed I wasn't very conservative with water (I do sorta have an unlimited supply with the river and all). It took me awhile to pour the water in the drainage hole I dug. Usually, I can pour all my grey water at once. This morning, I had to pour, wait, pour, wait, pour. Not a huge deal, but I could of used less. Randomly, I remembered I had a dream that I cut my hair and I qualified/got into the NYC Marathon. Strange, but whatever. The SCA crew came in at 8:45am to do some packing out of bridge materials. Waited at my tent site until about 10. A guy stopped in and planned on doing Carrigan. He had a few days to kill and it had been 20 years since he's been in The Whites. I suggested The Bonds to Guyot campsite then down the Franconia Brook back to Lincoln Woods. He was actually really glad with the suggestion and that was his new itinerary. Made another round at 10am and returned to my tent site to get ready for the sign replacement at the Franconia Brook/Lincoln Brook junction (I had replaced the sign, but I needed to do the post too, just miscommunication with my boss, no biggie). I was on my way with all the necessary equipment to accomplish the job. On my way, I meet a couple on vacation from Virginia. Pretty sweet. They have done backpacking in West Virginia, but wanted something new. In WV, you need to purchase a backcountry permit because there are so few people that head into wilderness. They were so taken back with the amount of traffic on the trails. Another couple let me know the Lincoln Brook trail from 13 Falls is not in great condition. John has told me about it, but I have yet to check it out. Also the girl told me about some wild blueberries along the trail past the junction. Good to know! I reach the junction and unpack my supplies. I pull my radio out of my back pocket and do not an antenna (some words were muttered to myself). You got to be kidding me! I retraced my steps about 10 minutes to the river crossing and found nothing. Headed back and continued to scan the ground. Every stick I am mistaking for the antenna (annoying). I ended up finding it on the way back to the junction. Phew! That would of not been good for the rest of the weekend and after. Government property. I know it's only an antenna, but still. After the 30 minute detour, I began looking for a tree of the right diameter and type for the new post. I initially looked near the swamp/bog area and the trees didn't look too healthy. Finally found one on the other side of the junction, I started to saw away at it with the switchblade saw thing (don't know the official name). After about 10 minutes, I switched to another tree because I was noticing it was a little too thick and too tall. I wasn't sure where it would land according the trail. Safety first! I found another one farther back and on the side of a hill. Ripped right into it. Took longer than I thought. About 35 minutes with frequent breaks and the removal of my uniform shirt because I was working up a sweat. I wanted to saw, "timber!" but I decided against it. Trimmed off the stop of the tree to have 8 feet of the base of the tree remaining. Dragged it out of the woods and sheeted the bark away with the tree bark scraper (another unofficial name). I was flying through it like a friggin pro. I managed to pull off 3 full length pieces of the bark. Dug the hole for the post. Huge amount of rocks. Dad, son and girlfriend passed by. The dad had a Keene State soccer shirt on. Never came up in the short conversation, but it was neat to see. The hole was pretty much dug, so I switched my efforts to removing the sign from the dead tree trunk. No ratchet! I forgot the F***ING thing. I as beyond pissed. I packed up. Refilled the hole and placed the rocks on top of the pile of dirt. Stashed the post in the woods. Radioed to John that I will finish it up the next day because of technical difficulties. What an idiot! I couldn't believe that I left it at my site. I was bumming on the way back. I made it back to the campsite by 3. I had to blow off some steam, but I was starving so I couldn't go for a run right away. I was craving the extra tortilla I had, but wanted something light for a filling. I put my normal snack in the middle, some nutella and a handfulmof pretzels. Mmm, better than I thought! It was sort of a dessert snack wrap. Power napped after the snack until 3:50. Headed out for an amazing run. I stayed on the Wilderness Trail all the way up to the junction of Shoal Pond and Carrigan Notch. It was mostly a single lane trail and followed the Pemigiwasset River. Best one in the Whites yet. Got back and destroyed a Clif bar and took a dip in the river. Talked with a couple of the SCA crew that were relaxing on the rocks. Got back my site at 6:15pm, changed up, retrieved some more water and got dinner going at 7pm. With the consumption of all my tortillas, I tooth easy way out and prepared some freeze-dried beef stroganoff with noodles. Ate it at 7:15 at a completely vacant campsite. There is at least one or two people on a Sunday. I got the song "All Alone" by the Gorillaz stuck in my head. 7:27pm, two guys show up. Woohoo! They already checked out the sites, but talked to me before setting up. They wanted to be close to the river so I said to set up anywhere at sites #1-3. I finished ip my dinner, cleaned up and headed over to their site at about 8. As I am walking to the end of the campsite, I am wondering why the two guys look like they aren't at a designated site. Cuz they aren't! They are setting up the tier below site #3 literally right next to the no camping sign. Really?! What knuckleheads (saying courtesy of Kevin Macknight, my dad)! I would give them the benefit of the doubt if it was 11pm, but it was still light out. I politely asked them to move up. They did without confrontation. Used the bathroom, brushed my teeth, and headed to bed into the tent by 8:15pm. As I laying in bed, a spring popped in my mattress! Good god! Scared the Ba-Jesus out of me! It felt like someone just punched my mattress from underneath. Read a chapter and fell asleep pretty easily.
Summary: 12.5 miles on the day and 80 miles for the week. Happy with the week and even more with the run. I was cruising along and fell into a rhythm early. It was 96:30 total time, but my surroundings were rushing past me at times. For some part of the run, it was almost a "cliff" on the left side of the trail and the river below that. Felt light on the feet and legs. 50 minutes out, 45:15, plus the 75 seconds from the latrines (where I started) back to my site. The last 2.2 miles in 15:08. Enjoyable week and weekend. Tomorrow is a scheduled day off and then back to the grind of landscaping and running in Plymouth.
August 1st: Rabbit rabbit rabbit. It was first thing that I wrote down in my journal. Counts for something. Maybe. Woke up at 5:30am and went right back to sleep until my alarm did NOT wake me up. The volume was too low and I got out bed at 6:45am. Bathroom run. Breakfast of pretzels with nutella, 4 oatmeal packets; 2 cinnamon and spice, 2 packets of apples and cinnamon + a container of cinnamon applesauce with some raisins. Hot chocolate because it's always chilly in the morning. Relaxed until 9am. At 8:53am, I won the card game my sister Sarah showed me (don't know if it has a name). Victory! I don't want to play again because it might be so long until I conquer again. I thought it would feel better, but it's still sweet. Radioed to Lincoln Woods to inquire about a updated forecast for the day. Thunderstorms after 1. Move, move, move! Packed up and headed to finish up my sign replacement. I placed tne ratchet in my daypack the day before to make sure I didn't forget it. I crossed the river and double-checked on my supplies for a 2nd time. Headed out at 9:40am and everything went extremely smoothy. Snapped some photos and was on my way back in record time for the hike of 1.7 miles (27:30). It was 12 when I arrived at the campsite. Checked on the sites from 12:30-1:00. Biked down with the "small child throwing a tantrum" on my back. Jetted out of the parking lot to meet John at HQ to touch base. As I walked into the door, I was greeted with the report of a backpack being dragged away on Friday night from my campsite. I was mot present there and heard nothing about it until that moment. Hmmm. Wonderful. Food rewards for the bear. Thank you dumb people. Back in Plymouth by 2:30 and resided at my nook outside of Cicerio's cafe. As time passed, I can feel my stomach grumbling and I was in the mood for some hearty food. I snuck into the cafe (where I am rarely, 2nd time for the summer) and spotted a special on the white boars for only $2.50. It was called the spinach special; spinach bagel smeared with spinach artichoke cream cheese, a layer of spinach, a layer of cutup artichokes and a sprinkling of sprouts (just typing the description makes me want it now). Inhaled it and was craving some dessert. They did have ice cream available, but I thought I would support another local business. The ice cream parlor down the way had a variety of flavors. My eye caught Death By Chocolate and I ordered. It had bits of brownie in it! I'm not the person to choose chocolate as the main focus for dessert, but does all Death by Chocolate ice cream flavors have brownies in it? I felt it was unique. Then, I realized that my complete lunch was based on three things; spinach, artichoke, and chocolate. I guess I had a hankering (yeah, I used this word Kimber) for some serious overload of certain foods. Headed back to the bunkhouse, relaxed, then hit up Hannaford's for household essentials. Cereal, milk, eggs, chicken, and bananas. I saw my boss John in the store. It was weird to see him in casual clothes. His wife is doing (walk/run) a half marathon. Cool! I popped into Olympia Sports before to check out some trainers. The guy was very helpful, but basically set me up with shoe (and an insert of course because my "ledging") with lots of cushion. I let him know I wasn't purchasing anything today and he let me know he doesn't get paid based on commission. He is the first person to not give me the salesmen BS. With all this shopping, I had leftovers because I was too tired to make food. But I was creative. I tossed my meatballs and sauce in a couple tortillas with cheese. Relaxed for the night.
Summary: This upcoming week will be a long week. I just have a feeling. Back to landscaping and another week of running. Hope it goes by fast. Wish me luck.