We spent the morning lounging with Mama Bear’s family, eating a leisurely breakfast at the bucolic picnic tables behind our motel. The kids and their cousins enjoyed some pool swimming, then we all piled into the car to head back to the trail.
We had a picnic lunch together and some of the family had to out to make it to their evening commitments. The rest of us hiked up to a scenic waterfall that we had passed on the AT the previous day for some mountain stream swimming. It wasn’t until mid-afternoon that we again started north.
Spending time with family brought on some homesickness, but we soon met up with Soleil and J.P. whom we hadn’t seen since Hot Springs, NC and it was like another reunion (Soleil gave RobinHood his trail name back when he was still going as Mouse). We all camped together at a Vermont shelter and the kids taught Soleil their favorite method of competitive cookie eating, where you start the cookie on your forehead and try to get it into your mouth without the aid of your hands.
Whitey and Taz also showed up at the shelter along with some friendly section hikers. It was also our first night sharing a campsite with a southbounder, Fish, who happened to be a fly-fishing guide. RobinHood showed off his tenkara rod and the two talked flies well into the evening. We had our chilliest night in a while, which made for some very pleasant sleeping.