Little John’s top three favorite things about hiking the Appalachian Trail:
1. Going to bed.
2. The views.
3. Having hot chocolate with hot buttered bagels in the morning.
Actually, after hiking with us for a few days, Little John switched the order of one and two.
We woke up in Crocker Cirque, took a quick peak to see if there was a moose in the pond, then headed up for the Crocker traverse. We needed a few things in Stratton, so Cartwheel and All In cruised on ahead to hitch in for resupply while Mama. Bear and the boys went at a more leisurely pace. The front runners cruised passed some northbounders who had passed us on the way up but that we otherwise hadn’t met before (they’re always a little dumbfounded at an eight year old can move fast enough to pass them), then popped out of the woods in time to see Pockets and Chance climbing out of a pickup truck.
We hadn’t seen them since the Smokies and, as is the way on the trail, greeted them like old friends. We were able to catch a ride into town in the same pickup, had a father-daughter date at the diner (complete with chocolate cream pie for dessert). Back on the trial, we crossed the two thousand mile mark, the caught a ride back to the trail and caught the boys and Mama Bear from behind.
We had beautiful weather for the Bigelows with a scenic view over Flagstaff Lake, then we all watched the sunset and slept at Bigelows Col.